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Frederick Douglass

In the Shadow of Slavery

Artist Summary:

Performance Type:  One Man Play
Performance Style(s):  Drama


Fee Range: $6,500-$8,500 


Iconic Hollywood and Broadway actor, Mel Johnson Jr. (Total Recall '1990 with Arnold Schwarzenegger; Mufasa in The Lion King on Broadway and more than 9 Broadway roles and several Hollywood movie and television credits). 

Above the rioting streets of Port au Prince on a hot tropical morning in 1891, Frederick Douglass stands barricaded in his home, unfazed. The former slave, newspaper editor, abolitionist, and current American Ambassador to Haiti, has seen it all. At 73 years old, the most famous black man in the world faces the encroaching violence and reflects on an ambitious career filled with progress and compromise and asks himself the most important question of his life, has there been too little of one and too much of the other? 


Frederick Douglass - In the Shadow of Slavery is a highly suspenseful and provocative one-man adventure that barrels headfirst into the dramatic complexities of American history. Experience Douglass’ heartbreaking childhood as a plantation slave and his perilous escape to freedom, marvel at his mastery of the spoken word as he denounces the brutal injustices of slavery. Hear with gripping detail of his uneasy alliance with radical John Brown and of the unwavering friendship he shared with Abraham Lincoln.


By plays end with an angry mob beating at his door, Douglass learns the dire cost of ambition and compromise…but is it too late for progress?



"The best history lesson ever!"    - The Peninsula News

"Mr. Johnson captivated an audience of middle school students for a daytime matinee performance! It's rare that you can hear a pin drop in a theater full of kids! This is theater of the highest quality. We are educated and entertained by one of Broadway's greatest! - Reif Center, Grand Rapids, MN


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Performance "In the Shadow of Slavery"

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