THE UNLADING, a dramatized poem, written and directed by Robert Earl Price, commissioned and produced by the Kent County Arts Council for Sultana Education Foundation’s Downrigging Weekend 2018.
The first stolen African people arrived in North America in August 1619 at Point Comfort, Virginia (Marker at Fort Monroe, Hampton, VA). They were used to buy food for the captain and crew of a Dutch Man of War, they were brought to Jamestown and sold. Their arrival was marked by four words, “20 and odd Negars”, by John Rolfe, in a letter to Sir Edwin Sandys, Treasurer of the Virginia Company of London. Two years later, in the Virginia census, they would be listed simply as “un-free”.
THE UNLADING is a dramatized poem in one act, written by Kent County’s award-winning playwright and poet, Robert Earl Price. Price imagines the thoughts, words and past lives of each of these enslaved Africans as they are unladed from a Dutch Man of War. (Downrigging attendees will know the Kalmar Nykle, from Wilmington, Delaware – this is a Dutch Man of War.). The poem was originally presented at Downrigging Weekend 2017 as part of a concert given by The Pam Ortiz Band, and has since been commissioned by the Kent County Arts Council into this dramatized piece. It will be performed four times throughout the 2019 Downrigging Weekend Festival at Janes Church in Chestertown with a cast of six local actors.
Performances are FREE and will be held at Janes United Methodist Church, 120 S. Cross Street, Chestertown as follows:
Friday, October 26, 2018 – 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, October 27, 2018 – 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Sunday, October 28, 2018 – 1:30 p.m.
The play runs approximately 30 minutes with no intermission.
The Kent County Arts Council is pleased to present this program in partnership with Sultana Education Foundation and their Downrigging Weekend. This production is funded in part by the Maryland State Arts Council, The Hedgelawn Foundation and The Indian Point Foundation
Please visit www.kentcountyartscouncil.org or call 410-778-3700 for more information.