It’s no wonder Richard Allen captured actor Leonard Dozier’s imagination.
Born into slavery in 1768, Allen managed to buy his way to freedom. He became the founder and first bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church and a civil rights leader.
He also survived, miraculously, a Yellow Fever epidemic that killed 5,000 Philadelphians.
“Allen was fighting for equality and racial and social justice while fighting to live,” Dozier said. “He had an indomitable will.”
Also a writer/singer/songwriter, Dozier parlayed his admiration into Apostle of Freedom, a one-man show about Allen that will make its world premiere at Philadelphia’s Beacon Theatre Productions on November 17 and 18.
The show will embark on a national tour beginning in February 2018.
Dozier first played Allen in the film Bishop Richard Allen: Apostle of freedom, in 2011. The following year he portrayed Allen again in the Emmy Award-winning “Fever: 1793” episode of the television program Philadelphia: The Great Experiment.
He has also made appearances and given speeches as Allen.
For Dozier, these portrayals foster a greater appreciation of Allen’s legacy but also underscore the ongoing struggle for equal rights.
“Civil rights injustices that in that existed in the 18h century still exist today,” he said.
“History repeats itself. We have to guarantee that all human beings are created equal.”
In Dozier’s versatile career, he has been a two-time Regional Broadway World Best Actor nominee, ADDY Award-winning voice actor, and one of the new voices of the NFL.
To learn more about Leonard Dozier and his Apostle of Freedom tour, visit: www.leonarddozier.com.