Possessing Harriet Hits the Road, Visits New York State Museum

The OHA commissioned play Possessing Harriet, from local playwright Kyle Bass, will be traveling to the New York State Museum for staged reading as part of the Researching New York Conference on Thursday, November 15th. Find out more here.

Previously, the play had been chosen by Syracuse Stage for its world premiere during the 2018-2019 season and by Ithaca’s Kitchen Theatre, a professional equity theater, for its 2016 New Play Development Program at the Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts, as well as for a New York State Summer School of the Arts (NYSSSA) performance at SUNY Delhi.

You can learn more about the story behind the play in this article. 

This inspirational chapter of our location history imagines a conversation between an enslaved woman, Harriet Powell, and a young Elizabeth Cady, the fierce advocate for women’s rights.  The conversation takes place in an attic room in the Peterboro, New York, home of abolitionist Gerrit Smith as Harriet, having slipped away from a Syracuse  hotel and the family who owns her, awaits her departure north on the Underground Railroad. This absorbing drama unfolds in real time, as danger nears and Harriet must make a life-altering decision.