Nat Turner in Jerusalem
(cast size: 2)
Nat Turner in Jerusalem premiered at New York Theatre Workshop in September 2016 under the direction of Megan Sandberg-Zakian. Script and licensing are available through Samuel French.
In August 1831, Nat Turner led a slave uprising that shook the conscience of the nation. Turner’s startling account of his prophecy and the insurrection was recorded and published by attorney Thomas R. Gray. Nathan Alan Davis writes a timely new play that imagines Turner’s final night in a jail cell in Jerusalem, Virginia, as he is revisited by Gray and they reckon with what has passed, and what the dawn will bring. Woven with vivid imagery and indelible lyricism, Nat Turner in Jerusalem examines the power of an individual’s resolute convictions and their seismic reverberations through time.
"The sparse, persuasive two-hander examines America's racial history, but feels disturbingly close to the present day." - The Village Voice
" . . . a night of spiritual reckoning for a country rent by race." - Washington Post
"While offering a corrective to earlier interpretations of Turner’s narrative, Davis doesn’t attempt to saddle it with an equally overbearing one; he resists any singular reading, let alone an overtly political one. He prefers to let the tale remain as mysterious and open-ended as possible, and thus, in its way, more terrifying." - New York Magazine
"Nathan Alan Davis’s script is full of brains, heart, and spirit. The dialogue will stick with you for days . . . " - Brightest Young Things
"Nat Turner in Jerusalem takes the audience on an engaging and illuminative journey into the past, offering an original look at injustice found in our collective history." - Washington Blade
"[An] incredible work about Nat Turner’s final day . . . " - DC Theatre Scene
"[T]he most interesting part of the creative exercise is not the activity inside Turner's cell, but the breadth of its implications about our relationship with history as a whole — whether 200 years past or flooding your Twitter feeds as we speak." - Theatre Mania
" . . . an unforgettable evening with the unforgettable Nat Turner." - Broadway World