Fred Morsell, a professional actor and educator nationally known for his portrayal of 19th-century hero Frederick Douglass, will perform the play, “Presenting Mr. Frederick Douglass”, at The Avalon Theatre on March 20, 2010 from 6:00 to 9:00pm. His appearance is sponsored by The Frederick Douglass Honor Society and the Talbot County NAACP .
Morsell, a native New Yorker now living in Montana, has researched and performed as Frederick Douglass since 1984. His dramatizations and related workshops are based on Douglass’ autobiographies, writings, and speeches.
Douglass, who was born in Talbot County, Maryland in 1818, escaped from slavery at the age of 20 and became a prominent anti-slavery and women’s rights advocate. He published a newspaper, advised President Abraham Lincoln, and achieved fame as a writer, orator, and public official. In 1848 he defended the controversial principle of woman suffrage at the first Woman’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, NY.
In June 1997, Morsell delivered remarks as Douglass during a Washington, DC ceremony marking the move of the statue of suffragists Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Lucretia Mott to the U.S. Capitol Rotunda. He has also appeared as Douglass in historical presentations at Ford’s Theatre, Seneca Falls, The Chautauqua Institute, New York and the Harper’s Ferry and Gettysburg National Historical Parks.
Mr. Morsell gives “Presenting Mr. Frederick Douglass” performances and conducts the Frederick Douglass Seminars on Race Relations and Gender Equity at K-12 schools as well as institutions of higher education. In the seminars, Frederick Douglass’ principles of success,
Believe in yourself,
Take full advantage of every opportunity, and
Exercise the power of written and spoken language to affect positive change
are dramatized by Fred Morsell to relate to today’s challenges, and to reinforce to the present generation Douglass’ message, “What is possible for me is possible for you.” Mr. Morsell has appeared in over 600 schools and communities nationally, presenting this Douglass message of racial and gender justice.