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All men have been created to carry forward an ever-advancing civilization. The Almighty beareth Me witness: To act like the beasts of the field is unworthy of man. Those virtues that befit his dignity are forbearance, mercy, compassion and loving-kindness towards all the peoples and kindreds of the earth. — Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 214.After a performance, audience members are given an opportunity to discuss the themes in the musical, and each is asked to make a personal pledge of action. “Then we send their pledges back to them in four months and invite them back, so hopefully the theater becomes a kind of village that comes together again,” says Ms. Mansuri. One of the show’s cast, Najee Brown, has noticed audience members taking these conversations and pledges to heart. “I know 100 percent that people are walking away feeling like they learned something and that’s probably the most important part,” Najee Brown says. “How do I apply what I just saw to my everyday life? How do I make a difference after watching this?” The impact of Henry Box Brown is heightened by the rich musical selections that run throughout it. Its musical score revives a number of 19th-century spirituals. “All these songs have come from oppression, from forgiveness of the oppressors, songs that distracted you from the brutality of the life that you were in,” says Jack Lenz, the show’s musical director and co-composer and a Baha’i. “All of these songs are connected to God, which is really what music is for, why we have it. It has always been connected with the worship of God and universality of sentiment and feelings, the recognition of what it is to have this sustaining power in your life, and especially if you lived through slavery.” The musical brings together 16 performers—including world-class gospel and R&B singers from New York’s Christian Cultural Center, and leading Off-Broadway performers—who have become keenly aware of the resonance the show has for modern audiences. “It’s very timely, and that’s both wonderful and kind of unfortunate, in that it has elements of a story that seem to ‘click’ so consistently with things that are coming out in our world today,” reflects Mr. Harney. “The story of this man who was subjugated and yet who was literate…who ultimately got to the point when it was too much. I mean, what an amazing idea. I’ll mail myself!” Najee Brown says that “the conversations get really heavy, and sometimes I have to take a step back.” “You’re tackling a lot of heavy subjects about what they say—you know, racism, unity—and I learned a lot about the way people think. And I’ve learned patience because not everybody understands why things like this are important. But these conversations help put things in perspective.” Following its international premiere run in Edinburgh, Henry Box Brown will tour through 25 cities in the United States, starting in Flint, Michigan, in November. It is hoped that throughout the United States the show will continue to stimulate thoughtful conversations and inspire people to act in constructive ways. Good theater should do just that, explains Mr. Harney. “There’s a lot of resonance, and levels and layers of things that become subject matter for education and conversation and social activism,” he says.