Taber Museum to host dramatic reading

WILLIAMSPORT — On Saturday, Feb. 17 at 2 p.m., actor and playwright Robert Hughes will perform a dramatic reading of a two-act play titled “Frederick Douglass: Interview from Slave to Master” at the Thomas T. Taber Museum of the Lycoming County Historical Society. The museum is at 858 W. Fourth Street.

This program is intended for mature audiences ages 18 and over, but is free and open to the public. It is being presented for Black History Month.

The play is set up as a question-and-answer presentation in which Hughes will be reading questions about Frederick Douglass and answering using Douglass’s words from his many speeches.

Frederick Douglass was born into slavery on the eastern shore of Maryland sometime in mid February 1818. He became known as a social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman.

After escaping from slavery in Maryland, he became a national leader of the abolitionist movement in Massachusetts and New York, gaining note for his impressive oratory and antislavery writings. In 1847, he moved to Rochester, N.Y. where he began publishing the anti-slavery newspaper The North Star.

In his time, he was described by abolitionists as a living counter-example to slaveholders’ arguments that slaves lacked the intellectual capacity to function as independent American citizens.

Northerners at the time found it hard to believe that such a great orator had once been a slave. He died Feb. 20, 1895 in Washington, D.C.

Hughes is an actor, playwright and performer who began his acting career with the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Jason Miller. Hughes ultimately portrayed the

deeply troubled Miller in Tom Flannery’s Go Irish: The Purgatory Diaries of Jason Miller . He has also starred in Jason Miller’s Barrymore’s Ghost, written a play adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, researched and wrote John Mitchell: An American Hero (a founder of the modern-day Labor Movement) and performed the one-man show A Miner’s Tale at the Taber Museum.

There is no fee to attend the performance, but there is an admission fee to view the museum.

Admission is $7.50 per adult, $6 per senior citizen (65-plus), $5 for children 5 to 12, and children under 5 and members are free. There is a family rate available. Parking is available on the street and in back of the museum. For further information, call 570-326-3326. or visit www.tabermuseum.org.

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