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Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Cover

The Facts

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
by Harriet Jacobs
Performed by
Cherita Armstrong
Wynn Handman
Wynn Handman
Recommended Ages
13 and up


All Stage Presentations include a 15 minute pre-show interactive discussion, a one hour performance, followed by a 15 minute post-show discussion, and a teacher resource guide. To get more information, or to begin the booking process, please fill out this form.

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl / Harriet Jacobs

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This celebrated slave narrative includes the author's account of the seven years she spend hiding out as a fugitive in her grandmother's attic.

Live performance of Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

This Literature to Life original, adapted in 2006 was commissioned by and premiered at The New York Historical Society.  The show features fifty minutes of verbatim performance.  The author is the protagonist in this solo piece which illuminates in shocking fashion the traumas of slavery, particularly for women and children. The stage adaptation culminates in Harriet Jacobs’ powerful and moving experiences during the seven years she spent hiding in The Loophole, a crawl space in her grandmother’s attic. Audiences, having absorbed the images without sets or props, only the truth of the author’s evocative words, will emerge with a visceral experience that may become an enduring part of their understanding of the “peculiar institution”, slavery.  Surrounded by a pre & post show discussion audiences will explore themes including resilience and survival.

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IN THE NEWS: A slave’s journey to freedom, retold for a new generation.
Posted by Jennifer Barnette
IN THE NEWS: A slave’s journey to freedom, retold for a new generation.

Literature to Life is proud to travel to Millersville PA this week to offer programming to area students. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, by Harriet Jacobs was chosen as the source material for this visit.  ““Each time I tell this story, I feel such an appreciation for her and so grateful that I can tell it, that it makes me feel stronger as a person and proud as an actor,” actress Cherita Armstrong says. Read the full article in the Lancanster Online.


GREAT LINKS: New Harriet Jacobs Site for 150th Anniversary!
Posted by Elizabeth Stone
GREAT LINKS: New Harriet Jacobs Site for 150th Anniversary!

2011 will mark the 150th anniversary of the publication of Harriet Jacobs’ Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. To honor this remarkable woman and her history, the Historic Edenton State Historic Site has launched, which features information about Ms. Jacobs’ life and works, the history of the Civil War in her hometown of Edenton, NC, and other educational resources about slavery, the war, and the Underground Railroad. We hope that you will make use of this fantastic new site, and be sure not to miss out on the limited two week run of Literature to Life’s stage presentation of Incidents from December 6th to December 17th! Please see our Events listing for details.


Audience Response

"We are currently studying the causes and effects of the Civil War so this activity certainly brought to life the horrors they have been reading about. When we returned to school, many went to the school library to check out more books, not only on enslavement and the Civil War, but about Harriet Jacobs’ life as well.”
Lynda Costagliola,
NYC Teacher

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