NextStop Theatre Company in Herndon, VA, is excited to present the historical drama Nat Turner in Jerusalem by Nathan Alan Davis. This powerful play delves into an important moment in American history, which has continued to shake the conscience of the nation for almost two centuries. Through powerful performances, audiences are invited to take part in a deep exploration of human morality and the grim reality of the past.
Nat Turner in Jerusalem is directed by Bryanda Minix, a multi-disciplinary theatre artist, who most recently appeared as the Angel Michael in NextStop’s production of “An Act of God”. The story is set in 1831, and is inspired by Nat Turner’s recorded “confession” and his personal justification for the insurrection he led in Southampton, Virginia. Reported to be the largest slave uprising in US history, Turner’s rebellion lasted four days and resulted in the death of more than 60 people, including at least 50 white slaveholders and their families.
The show will be performed every weekend from 1-17 April 2022 at NextStop Theatre Company’s black box theatre in Herndon, VA.
The play reimagines Turner’s final night in a jail in Jerusalem, Virginia, as he articulates the mission he believed was ordained to him by God, the bloody results and consequences of the insurrection he led, and his own prophecy for America. As Turner grapples with what the dawn will bring, the story confronts audiences with a moral dilemma and the opportunity to examine the horrific injustice of slavery versus the violent actions Turner undertook to combat it.
“NextStop is honored to bring such a critical piece of work to our audiences. This play is true American history, tragic Virginia history, and begins a conversation that is as relevant today as ever,” said Evan Hoffmann, Artistic Director, NextStop Theatre Company. “One of the reasons we picked Nat Turner in Jerusalem, is because it is a story that invites audiences to connect, engage, and grapple with how we determine the ‘right way’ to pursue justice.”
Playing the title role of Nat Turner is Kevin Thorne, while NextStop veteran Bobby Libby, is set to take on the part of attorney Thomas R. Gray. The vivid imagery and stunning costume design will transport audience members to another time and place, while adding to the mystery of Turner’s narrative and examining America’s relationship with its history and present-day social issues.
“This play is sure to intrigue audience members and act as a relevant reminder of our shared responsibility to bridge any divides and work together for a positive future,” said Hoffmann. “Today, the story of Nat Turner continues to be explored and referenced even in music and film.”
NextStop Theatre Company is proud to continue bringing unique stories such as Nat Turner in Jerusalem to the community, to also illustrate the power theatre has in acting as a vehicle to enrich people’s lives.
NextStop continues to utilize policies requiring proof of vaccination and mask wearing at all times while in the building (with the exception of the performers on stage). NextStop Theatre Company remains fully committed to placing the health and safety of our staff, artists, and community above all else. As such, NextStop maintains the right to cancel any performances and/or productions, at any time, should circumstances prove necessary. NextStop will offer full refunds in the event of cancellation and/or should a patron become uncomfortable with attending a live performance.
Special Note: This play includes serious discussions and descriptions about slavery, violence and murder, including on and against women and children. While no violence is depicted on stage, the complex physical, mental, and emotional repercussions may be triggering for some.
Nat Turner in Jerusalem
April 1 – 17, 2022
NextStop Theatre Company
269 Sunset Park Dr.
Herndon, VA 20170
Tickets are on sale now at www.NextStopTheatre.org.
NextStop Theatre is accessible to persons with disabilities. Wheelchair accessible seating may be purchased online or by calling the box office.
About NextStop Theatre Company
NextStop Theatre Company is an award-winning professional black box theatre moments away from Reston Town Center, Historic Downtown Herndon, Dulles Airport, and the upcoming Herndon Silver Line Metro Station. The company has established a strong regional reputation for producing critically acclaimed productions and educational programs, while showcasing a wide array of local talent and arts relevant to the community.
NextStop is supported in part by generous grants from ArtsFairfax, AutoScandia, The Nelson J. & Katherine Friant Post Foundation, The Nora Roberts Foundation, The Ruth & Hal Launders Charitable Trust, The Town of Herndon, and The Virginia Commission for the Arts.