Henry Box Brown: A Hip Hop Musical | Theatre Philadelphia
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Henry Box Brown: A Hip Hop Musical

What would you do for freedom? Statuesque Henry "Box" Brown spent 27 hours folded into a 3’ x 2’8” x 2' wooden box, in which he mailed himself from slavery in Virginia to freedom in Philadephia. This earned him the nickname "Box."

In this hip hop musical, Grammy-award nominee Karl "Dice Raw" Jenkins, best known for his collaboration with The Roots, introduces us to Box and tells a different slave narrative. We meet a real person, who is deeply flawed, highly talented and limitlessly resilient.

The show begins after Box has commenced his travel and is earning fame as a performer, capitalizing on his journey to entertain audiences and speak out about slavery. For Box is not just a slave fighting for his freedom, but a multi-talented man who reads and writes poetry, practices magic and hypnotism, and sings in a church choir. He travels the world extensively, and takes a stand against slavery.

Box’s story, however, doesn’t end with his success on the stage. The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, which required that fugitive slaves be turned in and sent back to slavery, caused Box to go underground. Box once again fled for his freedom, moving to Europe, where he lived for several decades. His final act is unknown. He was last seen onstage in Ontario, Canada in 1889, but reports of his death there have not been confirmed.

Jenkins, who shares Box’s large build, stars in the show. His co-stars include Minister Jamie Wright, formerly an artist on Jay-Z’s record label, and Gina Zo, of West Chester, who made headlines locally when she drew the attention of Blake Shelton as a contestant during the tenth season of “The Voice.”

Thursday, February 8th, 7:00pm
Friday, February 9th, 11:00am & 7:00pm
Saturday, February 10th, 7:00pm
Sunday, February 11th, 7:00pm
Thursday, February 15th, 7:00pm
Friday, February 16th, 11:00am & 7:00pm
Saturday, February 17th, 7:00pm
Sunday, February 18th, 7:00pm

Director & Narrative

Philip S. Brown

Music co-writers

Karl "Dice Raw" Jenkins
Seth Barmath


Philly Theatre Week
Closing Soon
Feb 8 - Feb 18, 2018
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Bonnell Auditorium at Community College of Philadelphia
556 N 17th St
Philadelphia, PA 19130
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