Rep. Maxine Waters Brings Down the House

Congresswoman Maxine Waters responds to standing ovation as actor Earnestine Phillips waits to present The Will Geer Humanitarian award. Photo by Ian Flanders

Before Theatricum Botanicum’s performance of William DuBois’ play, Haiti, on Saturday, August 4, Congresswoman Maxine Waters accepted The Will Geer Humanitarian award surrounded by the delighted cast and applauded by an admiring audience.

Earnestine Phillips, who plays Jacqueline, presented the award with Ellen Geer, Theatricum Artistic Driector and director of the play, proudly looking on.

“The audience cheered [Waters] on, as she deserves, while she fights on during these crazy times,” said Geer.

Waters spoke about the importance of putting on a piece like Haiti that has not been revived since the original 1938 production.

“Let me just tell you,” said Waters, “the world needs to know the history of Haiti, and how this small country fought off the French…. They were able to get their independence, the first in the world for black people. That history needs to be known and, of course, it is a history of resistance. It is a history of saying, ‘We are going to stand up, we are going to fight despite the fact we may not have all the resources, or everything that one would consider needs to be had in an army. But we’re gonna take what we have and we’re gonna fight for our freedom and our independence.”

“Haiti holds an important place in world history as the first free black nation and the first country in the Western Hemisphere to abolish slavery completely.” (From the Director’s Notes)

Peter Alsop and Ellen Geer in conversation with Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) and her husband, Sidney Williams, Ambassador to the Bahamas during the Clinton administration, before the performance. Photo by Ian Flanders


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