- Film & TV
- 08 Feb 21
The news comes as Douglass Week kicks off.
American actor Paul Oakley Stovall, who stars as George Washington in Hamilton on Broadway, is creating a miniseries about Frederick Douglass' time in Ireland.
Stovall first became aware of Douglass's journey to Ireland after the pandemic and lockdown forced Hamilton to go on hiatus. He became a mentor at a black community theatre company in Florida, where an Irish writer from Wicklow told him about Douglass' four months in Ireland.
"Douglass was supposed to be here for four days and he ended up here for four months. When I heard this, I knew this was a story because I want to know why, how, what happened," Stovall – who was immediately taken with Douglass' story – told the Sunday Times.
"He ended up touring the island: Limerick, Belfast, Cork, Dublin. He [was so popular he] couldn’t leave. The story is about him and Ireland; it’s not just him." Stovall also noted that the American education system only teaches students about the American part of the abolitionist's life.
The actor is now visiting Cork, and taking part in Douglass Week, a week-long series of events commemorating Douglass's visit to Ireland, which pays particular attention to his time in Cork.
An all-island, collaborative event series, Douglass Week celebrates the arrival of Frederick Douglass in Ireland between 1845-1846. During his time here, Douglass lectured to packed audiences, met with Daniel O’Connell and reflected upon the devastating effects of the famine then beginning to sweep the nation. The week is marked by a variety of creative installations and critical discussion, offering a collection of responses to address the footprint of Douglass in Ireland. The events will run from the 8th-14th of February. To find out more, visit douglassincork.com.