LOS ANGELES (Jan. 20, 2015) — “The Spirit calls me, and I must go,” said Sojourner Truth as she took leave of her family and set out to speak on behalf of women and advocated for abolishing slavery and promoted civil rights. A remarkable figure in history, Sojourner Truth’s story is recreated for the stage in a powerful, musically infused, award-winning play that combines her actual words with slave songs and spirituals of the period. In honor of Black History Month, All the Way West Productions presents A Woman Called Truth, opening on Jan. 24 at the Complex Ruby Theater in Hollywood.
Chronicling Sojourner Truth’s life from the day she was sold away from her family as a young child, to her earning her freedom and that of her children, to her famous extemporaneous speech at the Ohio Women’s Rights Convention in 1851, known as “Ain’t I a Woman?”, Sandra Fenichel Asher’s drama brings to life a fearless woman who did not allow her gender, race or lack of education stop her from becoming a champion of civil rights. Asher’s two-act play has won numerous awards and accolades, earning the Joseph Campbell Award, and has been honored by the National Endowment for the Arts, the American Alliance for Theatre and Education, and the IUPUI Children’s Theatre Symposium and is currently listed in Outstanding Plays for Young Audiences.
“It’s important to me that audiences see the truth about a woman called Truth. Every few years, I produce a play that celebrates Black artists or characters during Black History Month. What better way to do that then to bring the story of this courageous woman to the stage.” says producer Harry Jones.
Incorporating spirituals, slave songs and hymns, the play features three women and three men as well as a chorus for a cast of nine. Written with minimalist staging, the focus is on the words and lyricism of the time, with considerable attention to Sojourner Truth’s own words by the playwright who approximated much of the title character’s dialogue from published works and biographies by Olive Gilbert, Harriet Beecher Stowe and Francis Gage.
This staging directed by D’Shaun A. Booker is faithful both to the playwright’s vision and its original two-act version with dance, songs and a heavy concentration paid to the illumination of Sojourner Truth’s personal and heroic story.
A Woman Called Truth runs Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m.,Jan. 24 through March 1. There will be two preview performances on Thursday, Jan. 22 and Friday, Jan. 23 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $17-$22. The Complex Ruby Theater is located at 6476 Santa Monica Blvd.inHollywood, CA 90038. For reservations and information, call (310) 604-8158 or go to www.plays411.com/calledtruth