Harriet Tubman’s unconquerable spirit on stage

Christine Illes
Features Writer

Leslie McCurdy wrote and acted in the play, portraying Tubman with obvious passion and skill.
Leslie McCurdy wrote and acted in the play, portraying Tubman with obvious passion and skill.

On Feb. 15, the Ware Center, along with Rodgers and Associates, presented a passionate and emotional performance. “The Unconquerable Spirit of Harriet Tubman” was a one-woman show, and was absolutely perfect for Black History Month, telling the audience the story of Harriet Tubman, one of the most courageous women in history.
The play was written and performed by the talented Leslie McCurdy, who was named Outstanding Performing Artist of Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Through her impressive performance, she gave the audience an insight into the life of Harriet Tubman.
Born into slavery in Maryland in 1820, Harriet Tubman escaped slavery by running away on her own and returned to the South nineteen times to lead more than 300 slaves (including her parents and some of her siblings) to freedom through the Underground Railroad in the northern United States and Canada.
She was a woman of great faith, courage, and still remains an inspiration to people of this day. Her life was never an easy one and even through her toughest times, she still held onto her faith and possessed a strength like no other. Along with leading hundreds of slaves to their freedom, Tubman worked as a nurse and served as a spy for the Union Army during the Civil War. She helped with the fight for women’s suffrage and was always helping others up until her death in 1913.
McCurdy’s performance was outstanding. She was very lively and energetic, moving all around the stage and even ran through the aisles of the auditorium. Through her emotional performance, you could see from the very beginning that she had a connection with Tubman.
Leslie McCurdy is gifted with talent, not only being named Outstanding Performing Artist of Windsor, Ontario, Canada, but has also earned an honors B.F.A. in dance from the University of Michigan. McCurdy is known for the one-woman plays she wrote and has toured internationally for fifteen years.
Her performance was not only inspiring but educational. She gained the inspiration to write the play on Tubman through books she had read about her since fifth grade. It only took McCurdy three weeks to write it and only two days to memorize every line.
McCurdy stated that she “idolized Tubman for her courage and selflessness.” Her show really expressed how Harriet Tubman’s story can teach us all to never stop fighting for our dreams, no matter how tough they seem to reach. Her unconquerable strength and spirit was one that everyone should have and to do this day, Harriet Tubman’s story is one that can leave a lasting impression on each one of us.