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Regge Life Directing Phillis Wheatley Play: WCVB-TV

Senior Distinguished Director-in-Residence Regge Life talked to Karen Holmes Ward, host of WCVB-TV’s CityLife, about a new play about Phillis Wheatley that Life is directing this November.

Phillis in Boston is being presented by Revolutionary Spaces November 1-December 3 at the Old South Meeting House to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party.

drawing of Phillis Wheatley
Phillis Wheatley

Wheatley was an enslaved woman and writer whose book, Reflections on Various Subjects Religious and Moral, published in London in 1773, was the first known book of poems published by an English-speaking person of African descent, and the third book published by an American woman.

The play, written by Nigerian British writer Ade Solanke, explores Wheatley’s return to America from England on the eve of revolution, her close but complicated relationship with the woman who enslaved her, and the reality of slavery in the northern colonies, among other ideas.

“We don’t often examine what happened during the Middle Passage, what that was all about, how culture and history moved across the ocean, but I think the play examines some of that through Phillis and her very close friend, Obe Tanner,” Life says.

Watch the segment.


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