SYNOPSIS: The Lion tells the compelling story of arguably the nineteenth century’s most famous African-American civil rights activist, Frederick Douglass. Douglass rose from beginnings as a slave in Maryland to become a self-taught writer, publisher, orator, abolitionist, and politician.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 15 @ 7:00 PM (Central)

Join us for a powerful, live reading via Zoom. Following the 70-minute reading, stay in our virtual space for a group discussion and share actions you can take. For more information, please read our Backstage Guide in your browser or download pdf.

Buy tickets here or call (773) 654-3103 until Friday, January 15 at 3:00 PM Central. Suggested donation is $10 or pay-what-you-can. Your Zoom link will be sent the day before the reading and again 1 hour before the reading starts. For any questions or if you don’t receive the link, contact us at

Additional Resources

Black Lives Matter – global network builds power to bring justice, healing, and freedom to Black people across the globe.

DuSable Museum of African American History – Chicago museum that promotes understanding and inspires appreciation of the achievements, contributions, and experiences of African Americans.

The Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Scholarship Program – administered and managed by UNCF, the scholarship program awards $20,000 in scholarships each year to students enrolled in four-year HBCUs.

Frederick Douglass National Historic Site – National Historic Site in Washington D.C. that preserves the home where Frederick Douglass lived from 1877 until his death in 1895. Annually, the site hosts an oratorical contest where students perform a part of a Frederick Douglass speech that they learn from memory.  The National Park Service has also produced a virtual tour of the historic house, in partnership with Google Cultural Institute.

NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund – America’s premier legal organization fighting for racial justice. Through litigation, advocacy, and public education, LDF seeks structural changes to expand democracy, eliminate disparities, and achieve racial justice in a society that fulfills the promise of equality for all Americans.

Southern Poverty Law Center – a catalyst for racial justice in the South and beyond, SPLC works in partnership with communities to dismantle white supremacy, strengthen intersectional movements, and advance the human rights of all people.

Creative Team’s Biographies

MANNY BUCKLEY he/him (playwright/performer) is a proud Ensemble member of American Blues Theater. Blues credits include Six Corners, Looking Over the President’s Shoulder (Jeff Award Nomination-Best Solo Performance), and Dutchman/TRANSit (Black Theatre Alliance Award Nomination). Manny toured nationally as “Satchel Paige” in the original production of The Satchel Paige Story, and appeared in The Father (Helen Hayes Award Nomination) at Studio Theatre in Washington, D.C. He originated the role of “Carson” in Hit the Wall, which sold out extensions in Steppenwolf’s Garage Rep. Select Chicago credits include The Brothers Size, 1984, and Of Mice and Men (Steppenwolf); Dorian (House Theater); In the Heat of the Night (Shattered Globe Theater); Southbridge (Chicago Dramatists); and Love’s Labor’s Lost (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre). Mr. Buckley is the recipient of a Black Theatre Alliance, and Black Excellence Award. Film credits: Proven Innocent, Chicago Fire, and Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing.

CARA PARRISH she/her (stage manager) is a proud Ensemble member of American Blues Theater where she is also the Human Resources Coordinator. Chicago credits: Gem of the Ocean, Electra, Hard Problem, Photograph 51, Five Guys Named Moe, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, Lady From the Sea (Court Theatre); WITCH, Port Authority, Yellow Moon, The Letters, The Caretaker, Death of a Streetcar Named Virginia Woolf, & The Blond, The Brunette, and the Vengeful Redhead (Writers Theatre); Too Heavy for Your Pocket & The Vibrator Play (TimeLine Theatre Company); James and the Giant Peach (Drury Lane Theatre Oakbrook); Jabari Dreams of Freedom (Chicago Children’s Theatre); Romeo and Juliet, Emma, (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre); Beauty’s Daughter & Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story (American Blues Theater). Cara is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association.

Resources for Emotional and Racial Trauma

Those looking for or needing counseling or a safe space to heal from emotional or racial trauma, below are some resources that can help provide the tools and information you may need.

 Association of Black Psychologists Self-Care Tool Kit – a self-care tool kit for families & communities. Written in English and Spanish.

Black Emotional & Mental Health Collective – collective committed to the emotional/mental health and healing of Black communities.

Racial Trauma Resources – racial trauma resources compiled by the Borough of Manhattan Community College.

Resources for Black Healing – Black healing resources from the University of North Carolina Wilmington Counseling Center.

Safe Black Space – creates opportunities for Black people to heal and thrive.

We wish to express our gratitude to the Performers’ Unions (Actors’ Equity Association, American Guild of Musical Artists, American Guild of Variety Artists, SAG-AFTRA) through Theatre Authority, Inc. for their cooperation in permitting the artists to appear on this program.

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