Play tells the story of a friendship that forged the path for equal rights

Milford. Written by Shohola playwright Gregory Giblin and coming to Milford in June, 'The Lion of Anacostia' brings to life the friendship between Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass.

Make text smaller Make text larger


  • Actors in rehearsal, from left: Oliver King, Paul Puerschner, and Regina Yeager Drouse (Photo by Linda Fields)

“I was born in Rochester, New York, and that is basically where Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass became well known, and were life-long friends, and are buried in the cemetery there."
Gregory Giblin

By Linda Fields

When he wrote “The Lion of Anacostia," Gregory Giblin of Shohola had only to look at his past for inspiration.

“I was born in Rochester, New York, and that is basically where Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass became well known, and were life-long friends, and are buried in the cemetery there,” he said.

The play, first performed two years ago in Orange and Sullivan Counties, N.Y., is based on the friendship between the two distinguished rights activists: one fighting for African-Americans and the other for women. Giblin said the two-act play took five years to complete, and was originally going to be a one-man show about Douglass.

“My visual image for the part was (actor and friend) Sam Wright,” he recalled.

But Giblin said that, after some research, he felt more depth and more characters were needed — especially the character of Susan B. Anthony.

Thanks to the generous support of the Greater Pike Foundation through a grant from the Richard L. Snyder Fund, “The Lion of Anacostia” is currently in rehearsals and will be performed in Milford by three actors with the American Readers Theatre (ART). There will be four performances beginning June 6: three at schools in the Delaware Valley School District, and one performance free to the public at the Pike County Public Library in Milford on Friday, June 7, at 7 p.m.

ART Founder Jeffrey Stocker, who worked with such playwrights as Edward Albee and Christopher Durang, is directing. He worked with Giblin on the original play and helped adapt it for the June performances.

“We are under time constraints because we are taking it into the schools, and we had to adapt it by cutting it down to about 45 minutes," said Stocker. "When it’s done, it can go back to being a two-act play.”

Giblin said many of the lines in the play are drawn directly from an interview of Douglass.

“He wrote so well, it was easy to take parts of it and incorporate it into the play," he said.

As for the upcoming performances, Giblin said, “I’m delighted. I think it’s really important. Most people don’t even know who Frederick Douglass is. They get him mixed up with Stephen Douglas.”

Editor's note: This story was updated from the original.

Make text smaller Make text larger


Pool Rules


Low carb? Low fat? What the latest dieting studies tell us
Bacon and black coffee for breakfast, or oatmeal and bananas?
If you're planning to try to lose weight in 2019, you're sure to find a fierce debate online and among friends...

Read more »

Delaware Valley graduates 366 students
Following is the roster of the school's class 0f 2019
Richard Albanese
Jonathan Albano
Alexander Andersen
Danielle Anderson
Jordan Anderson

Read more »

DVE-News/TV reporters explore Lancaster on annual trip
DVE-News/TV reporters went to Lancaster on their annual trip. They learned about the Amish experience, including Rumspringa and the very difficult decision each Amish child needs...
Read more »

'Zombie cells' buildup in your body may play role in aging
By Malcolm Ritter
Call them zombie cells — they refuse to die.
As they build up in your body, studies suggest, they promote aging and the conditions that come with...

Read more »


Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Community Newspapers


Weather in Milford, PA