Rapid Lemon Productions to stage modern take on 1916 anti-racist play

Aladrian C. Wetzel’s new adaptation of 'Rachel' by Angelina Weld Grimké to be offered both in person and streaming.

Rapid Lemon Productions will present the world premiere of Aladrian C. Wetzel’s adaptation of Rachel by Angelina Weld Grimké, a scalding view of racism, personal loss, and the high price of truth. All performances will be offered both in-person and streaming.

Journalist, poet, and playwright Grimké (1880-1958) was one of the forebears of the Harlem Renaissance. She wrote Rachel in 1916 as a defiant reply to the release of D. W. Griffith’s film Birth of a Nation. Originally titled Blessed Are the Barren, the play centers on a Black woman who rejects marriage and motherhood. It was first produced in Washington, DC, by the NAACP in 1916, and published in 1920. The following year, Rachel was the first play to be performed in New York City to an integrated audience.

‘Rachel’ playwright Angelina Weld Grimké and adapter Aladrian C. Wetzel.jpg

Baltimore playwright Aladrian C. Wetzel’s adaptation resets the action in 21st century Baltimore. This is her second commissioned play for Rapid Lemon Productions, after 2019’s acclaimed Thank You, Dad. It is the second of three productions in the company’s 2021 season — its first as the resident theater company at Motor House. Tracie M. Jiggetts directs.

Rachel runs September 10 through 26, 2021. All performances will be live, and available both online and in person at Motor House, 120 W. North Avenue, Baltimore, MD. In-person attendance will follow strict COVID safety protocols in accordance with City of Baltimore guidelines.

Performances are at 8:00pm September 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 24 and 25; at 5:00pm September 12, 19, and 26. Tickets are $24 and available online. Select “Will-Call” delivery for in person; select “Online Access” delivery for streaming. (Patrons who buy a streaming ticket will receive a link by email an hour before the showtime they choose.) Discounted Industry Night tickets are $15 for the performance Friday, September 17.

Rapid Lemon Productions, established in 2012, is a not-for-profit theater company whose mission is to develop and present new work that promotes representation of and participation by the community it serves. Information: rapidlemon.org.



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