Voices From Beyond


Samari Brown ’24 as Nancy T.P. Lucas Curlin, a 19th century educator and one of the Genevans who inspired the HWS theatre department production, From Beyond: Staging Geneva’s Unheard Voices.

This summer, HWS student researchers opened a window to Geneva’s past. Anthony Bray ’23, Samari Brown ’24, Sal Fabio ’22 and Christina Roc ’24 compiled biographies of notable Black Genevans, which inspired the dramatic monologues performed in September as part of a theatrical walking tour of downtown. From Beyond: Staging Geneva’s Unheard Voices offered contemporary audiences nuanced portraits of Black lives and experiences in the city more than a century ago. During the summer, Bray, Brown, Fabio and Roc worked with Associate Professor of Theatre Chris Woodworth, as well as archivists and librarians from HWS and Geneva, to unearth genealogical records, primary documents and historical artifacts, exploring how history itself is constructed and performed. Brown says that as she researched and wrote about the life of Geneva teacher Nancy Lucas Curlin, she returned to the notion of challenging conventional historical narratives — not only “the lingering thought, ‘What can I do to play a role in the telling of a more accurate story,’ but also the mission: how will I rewrite (and right) history?”