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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.

Prime Sponsorship for American Prophet is generously provided by 
,  Exelon,
and Dan and Gloria Logan.
Supporting Sponsorship for American Prophet is generously provided by Andrew R. AmmermanJudith N. BattyThe Drutz Family Fund for Musical TheaterDr. Donald Wallace Jones, Dr. Betty Jean Tolbert Jones and Tracey Tolbert JonesPNCR. Lucia Riddle and Tiffeny Sanchez and Reg Brown.

Additional support is provided by Sandy and Jon Willen.



Frederick Douglass





"Let the Storm Come" from world-premiere musical "American Prophet"
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


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


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


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