The Winter of Their Discontent

The play's the thing with the historical drama The African Company Presents Richard III.

The events that landed the African Company in jail inspired the plucky producer William Henry Brown to write The Drama of King Shotaway, considered the first play by an African-American. Holding aloft his newly written piece about the rebellion of the Caribs of St. Vincent, Brown's character urges his colleagues to satisfy their dreams by unshackling themselves from the bondage of assimilation. "Restore yourselves to the inheritance of your ancestors," he says. It's a powerful exhortation that underscores Nickelson and company's admirable resolve to break free from cultural chains.

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