Virtual Liberty to Go to See


James Smith (c. 1790-1871) on the front steps of the Main House. Courtesy of Cliveden of the National Trust.

James Smith (c. 1790-1871) on the front steps of the Main House. Courtesy of Cliveden of the National Trust.

Liberty to Go to See returns virtually on June 19th to celebrate Juneteenth. Inspired by stories found in the Chew Family Papers and based on a script written by Philadelphia Young Playwrights, Liberty to Go to See takes audiences on an intimate journey through the lives of Chew family members and the men and women—black, white, enslaved, and free—who worked for the family from the 1760s to the 1860s. The title of the play comes from a letter written by Joseph, an enslaved man, to Benjamin Chew, Sr., his master, requesting employment closer to his wife. Narrated by James Smith, a free African-American servant, Liberty to Go to See contrasts the ideals of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness by showing the paradoxes of racial discrimination, class divisions, gender roles, and the struggle for freedom.

This year’s presentation will feature an introduction from  Cliveden’s Education Director, Carolyn Wallace and local facilitator Patricia Scott-Hobbs, followed by a video adaptation of Liberty to Go to See and ending with a question-and-answer session with director Johnnie Hobbs, Jr., writer Gail Leslie and actors that brought the stories to life. We encourage you to stay and share your thoughts about the play.

Registration is open now through June 19th. The event is free and open to all. For those who are able, a donation of $10 per person suggested. Visit Eventbrite to sign up. After completing the registration, you will receive a link for the event; Eventbrite will also send you reminders leading up to June 19th. 

If you do not receive the link, please contact Jocelyn Rouse at [email protected] or at (215) 848-0290.

 

To support this program and future events, please use the PayPal link below. 




Liberty to Go to See is supported by The Haley Foundation and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.