The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center is pleased to host Godfrey Simmons, Artistic Director of the HartBeat Ensemble, for a Salons at Stowe program. The HartBeat Ensemble is a Hartford-based theater ensemble and Stowe Center neighbor made up of artist-activists dedicated to creating inclusive spaces within the performing arts. Their work engages with social justice, history, the human experience, and embodies the values of literary activism.
Their upcoming production, Possessing Harriet, grapples with the history of enslavement and raises questions around the culpability of white Northerners who supported enslavement through their inaction; the tensions between white women’s rights activists and abolitionists; the limitations of empathy between races; and other aspects of this troubling, yet true, history. Moderated by Versatile Poetiq, 2022 Artist of Color Accelerator Resident and current Museum Guide of the Stowe Center along with Simmons and Leslie Gabel-Brett will discuss the many themes the work raises, followed by an audience Q & A.
Leslie Gabel-Brett is a playwright, poet, and activist for LGBTQ and women’s rights. She recently retired following a decade as Director of Education and Public Affairs at Lambda Legal and, before that, as Executive Director of the CT Commission on the Status of Women. She holds a doctorate in Anthropology and teaches a course on social activism at Wesleyan University. Gabel-Brett has published poems in Calyx, Passager, Clackamas Literary Review, The Seattle Literary Review where she won the Bentley Prize for poetry in 2002.
Light refreshments will be available.
Event is free but donations are appreciated.
Event capacity is limited to 35 participants.
SALONS AT STOWE PARTICIPANTS WILL RECEIVE A SPECIAL $5 OFF CODE FOR POSSESSING HARRIET TICKETS
Carriage House Theater
360 Farmington Ave, Hartford
In 1839, Harriet Powell, a young, mixed-race, enslaved woman slips away from a hotel in Syracuse, New York, and escapes, finding temporary safe harbor in the home of impassioned abolitionist Gerrit Smith. With the slave catchers in pursuit, Harriet spends the hours before her nighttime escape to Canada in the company of Smith’s young cousin Elizabeth Cady, an outspoken advocate for women’s equality. As both women confront new and difficult ideas about race, identity, and equality, Harriet is forced to the precipice of a radical reckoning with the heartrending cost of freedom. Which wrenching choice will Harriet choose: Return to the relative safety of her master’s household, or risk everything by fleeing to Canada?