Frederick Douglass in his own words
May 28 – July 3, 2021
Music, lyrics and book by Marcus Hummon
Written and directed by Charles Randolph-Wright
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:
Andrew R. Ammerman
Judith N. Batty
Dr. Donald Wallace, Dr. Betty Jean Tolbert Jones and Tracey Tolbert Jones
R. Lucia Riddle
Tiffeny Sanchez and Reg Brown
Additional support is provided by Sandy and Jon Willen.
CORNELIUS SMITH JR.
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
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
World Premiere of American Prophet Musical Announced at Arena Stage