"A Little Lower than the Angels" was originally produced by New Gate Theatre in Providence, RI under the direction of Brien Lang. Subsequently the play was moved to Newport, RI and performed under the auspices of the Newport Historical Society. The characters and events occurring in this play are totally fictional; however, the major role that Rhode Island played in the American Slave Trade between 1725 and 1807 is a historical fact. During the period, the infamous trade triangle of Newport distilled rum for African slaves for West Indies molasses and sugar was a vital component of Newport's economy. The "Guinea" trade as it was called resulted in the enslavement of 106,000 Africans; the Revolutionary War ended the trade temporarily, but after the war, the trade was revived. As pointed out by scholar Jay Coughtry, in The Notorious Triangle, the "'American slave trade' might better be termed the 'Rhode Island slave trade'." This play is a dramatization of how that trade might have influenced the lives of a handful early American patriots and their "property."
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