Delaware Arts Info sat down for a chat with Ms. Harris to discover more about her performance this weekend. Check out our interview below...
|Kathryn Harris as Harriet Tubman
I was drawn to create this piece in response to the request from my friend and colleague. (She asked me to develop and deliver the presentation as a part of the 5th Grade program.) My favorite part is the Q&A, where I answer in first person narrative, as Harriet. I never know what I'll be asked, so each performance is different.
*Do you have any special inspiration or influence that you tap into in preparation for this piece?
I have admired Harriet Tubman since I was in elementary school, when I read her biography. She was a truly remarkable woman. When given the opportunity, I was eager to develop this presentation. Originally after my monologue, I did not answer questions in first-person, but with the help and encouragement of a theater friend, I grew more comfortable answering questions in that scenario. Of course, all of this was because of my continual reading and research on Harriet.
*Can you talk about Harriet Tubman's connections here in Delaware?
The most significant story that I know about Harriet Tubman's Delaware connections is her relationship with Thomas Garrett and their subsequent relationship with William Still of Philadelphia. Garrett was a staunch and radical abolitionist who was thoroughly committed to the abolition of slavery. He risked his life and livelihood in the fight for abolition, and opened his home as a safehouse for hundreds of fugitives that traveled with Harriet.
*What do you feel is the greatest message or experience that you'd like audiences to take with them after seeing your performance?
After my performance, I hope the audience will not only learn something new about Harriet Tubman, but also that they will respect her commitment to a supremely righteous cause. She valiantly showed that she "...put her feet were her belief was." With a strong faith and trust in God, she tirelessly worked for the greatest possession: LIBERTY and FREEDOM. She was determined to have them or death — that was the only alternative in her view. What a woman! If only everyone today could have the courage of conviction to act for a cause in which they so fiercely believe — how much different would our world be? Sitting on the sidelines does not bring change or make our society better!