Playwright tackles moral dilemma of murder and slavery in upcoming performance

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Is murder ever justified? Nat Turner, leader of the slave rebellion in 1831, tries to answer the question in a haunting play written by P.A. Wray. Three performances of the play are being live-streamed by Conejo Players on February 19, 20 and 21.

VIRGINIA BEACH, VIRGINIA (FEBRUARY 18, 2021) — Was he a hero or villain? A play about Nat Turner elicits both responses, especially from the actors who play the title character in Nat’s Last Struggle. The one-man play — distributed and licensed by Blue Moon Plays — has become a staple for theatre groups because of the moral dilemma it raises.

“P.A. Wray’s play is brilliant,” said Jean Klein, owner of Blue Moon Plays. “Wray explores the torment Turner suffered from the evils of slavery and how his devout faith became his path to murder. God, he believed, had commanded him to “cut off the serpent’s head.” Similar justifications are still used worldwide today — 190 years after Turner’s rebellion.”

Turner was born into slavery. He grew up deeply religious and believed he was called to confront the brutality of slavery. In August 1831, Turner led more than 70 enslaved and free blacks into a bloody revolt which became the only direct, continuous slave rebellion in U.S. history.

The state militia defeated the insurrection four days later, but not before Turner and his men killed between 55 and 65 people, most of whom were white. Turner escaped but was eventually captured and hanged. The state executed an additional 56 blacks for taking part and supporting the uprising. Militias killed at least 100 more. The revolt spread fear among landowners that slaves in other communities also were rebelling and led to whites attacking innocent blacks throughout the South.

A California theatre company is the latest ensemble to perform the play. Actor John L. Adams takes on the role in the pay-what-you-can online broadcast by the Conejo Players Theatre, scheduled for 7 p.m. PST on February 19 and 20. Another performance is at 2 p.m. PST on Sunday, February 21.

“In Nat’s Last Struggle, Turner must confront his conscience in the afterlife,” said Klein. “He has to answer the question: was the 1831 rebellion worth all the blood that was shed?”

It would be another 34 years until slavery would be abolished by the Thirteenth Amendment.

About Blue Moon Plays

Blue Moon Plays provides high-quality, professionally written, inspiring plays for a wide range of education, community, and professional theatre needs. Blue Moon Plays is dedicated to helping theatre companies, community groups, senior entertainment groups and schools find scripts that meet their exact needs. They are also dedicated to promoting plays and playwrights that are inclusive and representative of the communities they serve, including plays about African American life and history

Contact Info:
Name: Jean Klein
Email: Send Email
Organization: Blue Moon Plays LLC
Address: 1385 Fordham Drive Ste 105-279, Virginia Beach, VA 23464, United States
Phone: +1-757-816-1164

Source: PressCable

Release ID: 88997866