A collaboration between the American Repertory Theater & Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University
In 2014/15, the American Repertory Theater and the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School launched The A.R.T. of Human Rights, a groundbreaking collaboration that uses the arts and the humanities to explore some of the most pressing human rights issues of our time. With support from a Mass Humanities project grant, this new series features public conversations with leading artists, academics, and activists, as well as educational and artistic partnerships with local schools and organizations. Building on the Carr Center’s commitment to advancing human rights principles, and the A.R.T.’s mission to “expand the boundaries of theater,” The A.R.T. of Human Rights is designed to foster a new model for community education, civic engagement, and creative expression. The A.R.T. of Human Rights is directed and hosted by Timothy Patrick McCarthy, award-winning Harvard faculty member and director of the Carr Center’s Sexuality, Gender, and Human Rights Program.
Tuesday, April 28, 7PM @ Loeb Drama Center, 64 Brattle Street, Cambridge
Four Harriets: A reading of a new play by Timothy Patrick McCarthy
Four Harriets chronicles the personal, political, and literary lives of four abolitionist women: Harriet Beecher Stowe, Harriet Wilson, Harriet Jacobs, and Harriet Tubman. Set between 1850, the year Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Law, and the eve of the Civil War, Four Harriets brings to life the drama of the final decade of the antebellum era. Against the backdrop of fierce debates over the abolition of slavery and women’s rights, as well as the threat of secession and impending war, the play explores the literary conflicts that emerged between the nation’s most famous white woman novelist (Stowe) and two lesser known black women writers (Wilson and Jacobs), and the political conflicts that exploded between more moderate artists like Stowe and more radical activists like Tubman, with Wilson and Jacobs caught somewhere in the middle. Inspired by rich archival sources from the period, and infused with touches of irreverent humor, Four Harriets blurs the boundaries between fact and fiction to explore the nation’s most ancient and enduring conflicts–of race, gender, class, and region–at the intersection of American history, literature, and politics.
*This event is ticketed, but free and open to the public.