Internationally recognized local actress and playwright Leslie McCurdy celebrates 20 years of touring to audiences across Canada and the United States with her critically acclaimed performance of The Spirit of Harriet Tubman. She’s returning to where it all began for a special show.
McCurdy produced her first public performance of The Spirit of Harriet Tubman in Windsor on August 5, 1997. This August 5th, she offers a free public performance of her play at 6pm at the 85 Year Commemorative Emancipation Celebration in Lanspeary Park in Windsor.
McCurdy invokes the ‘spirit’ of Harriet Tubman as she portrays the life of the famous Underground Railroad conductor, recreating stories familiar and some rarely told, using words said to have been Harriet Tubman¹s own. Through it all we learn of the faith and conviction that drove Harriet Tubman to follow her dreams; the spirit of the past connecting with the present, inspiring her charges to have the courage to do the same in envisioning their future.
This performance of The Spirit of Harriet Tubman will be filmed for a documentary about Leslie, the women she performs and the social activism she shares through her plays. Canadian Arts Production’s team of Pat Jeflyn and Kim Kristie are producing the documentary, called On The Money, to highlight the women that Leslie portrays that will be the first women – besides the Queen – to be the face of currency, Harriet Tubman on the US $10 bill and Viola Desmond on Canada’s $10 bill.
Though most people forget it, or were never aware, the holiday on the first Monday in August is a commemoration of when slavery officially ended in all British territories and thus Canada on Emancipation Day, August 1, 1834.
The Emancipation Day Committee of Windsor, headed by Bradley Jones, maintains a family Emancipation Celebration to recognize Emancipation Day at Lanspeary Park in Ottawa and Langlois Streets in Windsor. This year marks the 85th anniversary of the historic Greatest Freedom Show On Earth celebrations once organized by Walter Perry. A Children’s Village with fun and games for kids, live performances, artist’s displays and barbecue dinners are just some of the highlight!
The Emancipation Celebration runs both Saturday August 5 and Sunday August 6. Admission to the arena where the play will take place is $5 for adults, free for children 12 and under.
For more about Leslie McCurdy, visit her website.