Shades Rep Artistic Director Samuel Harps Writes Play About The Underground Railroad

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BY GEORGE J. DACRE

Samuel Harps is the writer and Joe Albert Lima the director of a new play “Underground,” about the Underground Railroad.

Harps first public reading of the play will be presented Saturday, December 17, 1 p.m. at the Nyack Library, which is appropriate as the Underground Railroad, a network of clandestine routes used by slaves to escape to free states and Canada, was run through the Nyack area of Rockland County in the 1800s.

Harps’ “Underground” follows three families in Rockland County who ran safe houses and others who were attempting to escape to the North.

Harps who is playwright and artistic director of Shades Rep in Haverstraw interned at New York’s New Dramatist studying with noted playwrights August Wilson and Charles Gordon. Harps was later accepted as a member of the prestigious Negro Ensemble Company’s playwrights program. His first major production was staged at New York’s famed Nuyorican Poet’s Cafe.

His explosive drama on the death of trumpeter Lee Morgan received seven Audelco Awards including best play and playwright. Harps has also received the Rockland County Executive Award for Literary Artist.

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