During the mid 1930s, the Federal Writers' Project, at the request of President Franklin Roosevelt, undertook an extensive gathering of oral histories from former slaves about their lives. It is these voices from an ugly past that are the material for James de Jongh's stirring 1977 docudrama Do Lord Remember Me. Characters from the not-so-gallant South include the pitiless overseer; the emboldened runaway; the “house negro,” as compared with the “field negroes” outside; masters, both kind and cruel; and the mother whose embittered tears cannot mask her perverse joy over the death of her baby, who is thus freed from bondage. The play tells of the ignominy of the auction block, the whippings, deprivations and suffering, and the unexpected hope and humor. The cast — Annzella Victoria, Arthur Richardson, Virginia Watson, Alysia Livingston and Charles Mathers — help make the evening memorable under Wilson Bell's direction. James Esposito's ramshackle slave cabin — graced with that beckoning symbol of hearth, home and storytelling, a rocking chair — adds a vibrant realism to the production, as does the singing of time-honored Negro spirituals and the author's fidelity to the time period's crude dialect.

Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: April 19. Continues through May 26, 2013

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.