FREIGHT NEEDS YOUR HELP
Graphic design by JewellGreen.com | Artwork by Rose Piper, American 1917-2005: Slow Down Freight Train, 1946-47, oil on canvas, Ackland Art Museum, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Ackland Fund
J. Alphonse Nicholson as "Abel Green." Photo by Nick Graetz.
The Reviews Are In.
Roy C. Dicks at the News and Observer said it was not too early to call Freight one of the year's best. "Even those who've witnessed the impressive trajectories of playwright Howard L. Craft and Actor J. Alphonse Nicholson over the years will likely be unprepared for their stunning conversion in Freight: The Five Incarnations of Abel Green. Read the full review here.
Kate Dobbs Ariail of The Five Points Star said the same thing about the production ending up on the short list of the year's best. Then she said, "Catch it or kick yourself into next year." Read the full rave review here.
Byron Woods at The Indy gave the production five stars saying, "Through these five well-crafted monologues of African-American lives . . . betrayals and dead ends are featured as centrally as travel by rail, in a work whose scope, substance and lyricism recall that of August Wilson."
Woods goes on to write, "Director Joseph Megel has achieved exceptional results in previous outings with this actor and playwright. Here, he unsurprisingly pulls the best out of both, in a show that makes us wonder what the next stop is on our culture's mystery train." Read the full five-star review here.
NYC Critics Agree
NYT Critics’ Pick Off Off Broadway
" . . . rich and thoughtful . . . sardonic humor . . . distinct and entertaining . . . a smart man with the charm to hold a room."
LAURA COLLINS-HUGHES, The New York Times
"You may know that racism and poverty have always been in collusion. But you’ll still find yourself surprised and moved by the stories of struggle collected in Howard L. Craft’s incisive one-man play Freight: The Five Incarnations of Abel Green. Directed by Joseph Megel and expertly performed by J. Alphonse Nicholson, Freight captures big historical truths in personal, idiosyncratic tales."
"Craft’s meditation on race in America is clearly timely; what’s surprising here is his light touch. Humor and song leaven the evening, and a surreal ending offers an escape from Green’s troubled world. But your delighted temptation to follow him will remind you that our own universe remains so inhospitable to so many."
MIRIAM FELTON-DANSKY, The Village Voice
"Playwright Howard L. Craft has perhaps done more with 90 minutes than some writers have done with entire trilogies. . . . Director Joseph Megel has pulled an enormously inspiring performance out of the brilliant actor, J. Alphonse Nicholson. Megel has also created a few vividly memorable portrait moments that live like a painting in one’s mind."
HEATHER ANNE CHAMBERLAIN, StageBuddy
"[A]n epic of the African American male across the 20th Century in America. That’s all I can really say to describe it: you’ve just got to see it. Seriously, you really should go see this one. It’s powerful, original theatre, and incredibly performed."
ROBERT GONYO, Go See a Show Podcast
Freight: The Five Incarnations of Abel Green
by Howard L. Craft
A new one-person show directed by JOSEPH MEGEL and featuring J. ALPHONSE NICHOLSON
We're taking this show on the road. After our successful run in Chapel Hill in January and in New York in July we want to keep the momentum going. We need your help to make it happen.
We have the team together -- playwright Howard L. Craft, director Joseph Megel, actor J. Alphonse Nicholson. Please help us send this play out into the world and give this conversation the opportunity to expand widely from its beginnings in North Carolina.
There are lots of ways to help.
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Whatever works for you.
Freight: The Five Incarnations of Abel Green tells the story of an African American male who exists in five different dimensions of the same universe at different points in American history. In each incarnation – minstrel, cult leader, FBI informant, struggling actor, out-of-work mortgage broker – Abel finds himself stuck somewhere between the American Dream and the American Nightmare and as he navigates some very gray areas we witness the trials of a simple man trying to make decisions that will allow him to survive in what the great African American poet Claude McKay referred to as “this cultured hell that tests my youth.” (PG 13 due to language)
Trailer by Eamonn Farrell with additional videography by Jim Havercamp and Alex Maness, featuring J. Alphonse Nicholson.