Play video icon.
Frederick Douglass in his own words

American Prophet

  • Credits

    Music, lyrics and book by Marcus Hummon
    Written and directed by Charles Randolph-Wright

  • Location

    Kreeger Theater

Charles Randolph-Wright (Arena’s Born for This: The BeBe Winans Story, Broadway’s Motown the Musical) returns to Arena Stage with a ground-breaking musical about Frederick Douglass, portrayed by Cornelius Smith Jr. (ABC’s Scandal, All My Children). Douglass’ own words power the soaring new melodies and original script from Grammy Award-winning songwriter Marcus Hummon and Randolph-Wright. This daring and heart-stirring new work presents Douglass as a fierce abolitionist and distinguished orator featuring interactions with key figures including, President Abraham Lincoln, activist  John Brown and Douglass’ wife, Anna Murray-Douglass, without whom his defiant escape from slavery would not have been possible. Filled with electrifying new songs including, “What Does Freedom Look Like,” “We Need a Fire” and “A More Perfect Union,” this world premiere celebrates the revolutionary legacy of one of history’s first freedom fighters.

American Prophet is generously sponsored by:

PRIME SPONSOR
Exelon

SUPPORTING SPONSORS
Andrew R. Ammerman
Judith N. Batty
Dr. Donald Wallace, Dr. Betty Jean Tolbert Jones and Tracey Tolbert Jones
PNC
R. Lucia Riddle
Tiffeny Sanchez and Reg Brown
Additional support is provided by Sandy and Jon Willen.

Cast

CORNELIUS SMITH JR.

Frederick Douglass

Creative

CHARLES RANDOLPH-WRIGHT

Playwright and Director

MARCUS HUMMON

Co-script Writer / Composer

Multimedia

Ken Morris on Frederick Douglass
An interview with Charles Randolph-Wright and Marcus Hummon.
"American Prophet: Frederick Douglass in His Own Words" with Cornelius Smith Jr.
Photo of Cornelius Smith Jr. by Tony Powell.

Song Selections

Hear sample music from American Prophet.

In The News

FOX5

Interview with Cornelius Smith Jr. on World-Premiere Musical American Prophet

Playbill

Cornelius Smith Jr. Will Star in World Premiere of American Prophet Musical at Arena Stage

Broadway World

Cornelius Smith Jr. to Play Frederick Douglass in American Prophet: Frederick Douglass In His Own Words

Playbill

Charles Randolph-Wright Will Direct World Premiere of American Prophet Musical at Arena Stage

Broadway World

World Premiere of American Prophet Musical Announced at Arena Stage