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DCSS at Arena Stage: Anna Julia Cooper and "Tempestuous Elements"

  • March 09, 2024
  • 2:00 PM
  • Arena Stage, 1101 6th St SW, Washington DC 20024



Tempestuous Elements
(World Premiere)

Arena Stage, Fichandler Theater

By Kia Corthron
Directed by Psalmayene 24


Please join DCSS for the world premiere of Tempestuous Elements, a new play about long-time DC educator and social theorist, Anna Julia Cooper (1858?-1964), author of A Voice from the South (1892). Tempestuous Elements deals with a moment in 1905 when Cooper, as Principal of the M Street School in DC, the most advanced secondary school for African Americans in the country, fought for the right of African American students to have the option of following either a vocational curriculum or the classical college-preparatory curriculum. In a scandal orchestrated by the government, her tenure as principal is sabotaged by her colleagues and neighbors leading Cooper's professional and personal relationships to become fodder for innuendo and social ostracization. Witness the journey of this formidable Black feminist’s fight for educational equity, freedom, and legitimacy at the turn of the 20th century.  

DCSS has secured a block of tickets at a reduced rate for the Saturday, March 9 matinee at 2 p.m. in The Fichandler Theater at Arena Stage. Tickets are $52 (regular price $76). Discounted tickets are available only through the DCSS website; if the initial block sells out, we will create a waitlist and try to secure additional tickets. (You may purchase multiple tickets by adding "guests" to your order.)

"Plays with hefty historical undercarriages are at particular risk of becoming glorified Wikipedia entries, but thankfully, this never happens with Tempestuous Elements, whose characters feel thrashingly alive and complex rather than indurated by ideologies." From the review by  Rhoda Feng in The Washington Post, February 23.

For more information on Anna Julia Cooper, see the listing for the DCSS award named in her honor.

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