Pat and I are excited! My full-length play The Shackles of Liberty has won this year’s Southern Playwrights Competition. The Jacksonville State University Department of Drama will present it as part of its 2016-2017 season. It’s a wonderful honor.
The Shackles of Liberty is a fictionalized account of Thomas Jefferson’s last day in Paris in 1789. It focuses on his relationships with three women—his European lover Maria Cosway, his older daughter Martha (“Patsy”), and his young slave mistress Sally Hemings.
I hope I’ve written a play about today and the America we live in. A century and a half after slavery ended, we still need to be reminded that “Black Lives Matter.” A little less than a hundred years after women gained the right to vote, the fight for gender equality is far from over. And not to sound pessimistic, but it seems to me parents and children will always be at odds about one thing or another.
These are a few of the issues I’ve tried to explore in The Shackles of Liberty. I am grateful to Jacksonville State University for the opportunity to bring this play to life in the theater!