See ‘1619: The Journey of a People’ with Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre and EPL

May 23, 2024

1619: The Journey of a People comes to the Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre in Evanston from June 15 through June 30, 2024. Thanks to support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Evanston Public Library is partnering to promote and provide additional programming to enrich your theatrical experience of the 400 years since enslaved Africans were brought to the shores of this nation. 

Buy Tickets from the Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre

1619 poster

The multi-disciplinary theater experience of 1619: The Journey of a People is expressed through three modern characters in a series of performance pieces that will leave audiences both inspired and challenged about the progress of America’s African sons and daughters. The production of 1619… features a dynamic cast of singers, actors, spoken word artists, and dancers who reflect on the past while tackling critical contemporary social issues. With an appeal for all ages, this production reminds us that on the other side of the trial lies greatness.

In 2023, EPL and the Fleetwood Jourdain Theatre partnered to bring excerpts of the play, written by Ted Williams III in recognition of the 400-year anniversary of the date when the first enslaved Africans were brought to the shores of this nation, to Evanston Township High School and Evanston’s Juneteenth Celebration. This year, thanks to the grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and partnership with Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre and the Northwestern University of Neighborhood and Community Relations, the full production comes to the stage of Fleetwood-Jourdain.

Show times are Saturdays at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m., June 15-30, at the Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre, inside the Noyes Cultural Arts Center, 927 Noyes St, Evanston.

Tickets are available for sale directly from our partners at the Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre:

Limited opportunities to win tickets from EPL

Thanks to support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Evanston Public Library is giving away a limited number of free community access tickets to see the show. Here’s how you can score two free tickets (valued at $32 each) for the show of your choice:

  • Attend a select in-person or teen library program (see list below)
  • Find the Evanston Public Library tent at an upcoming community event and enter to win. We’ll be at First Friday on June 7, and the Juneteenth Celebration on June 15.

Library programs eligible for tickets

Click the links below to learn more about each program and to register:  

When you attend one of the above programs, just let our staff at the program know you’d like your two free tickets and your preferred show days, and they’ll get you signed up! You’ll pick up your Will Call tickets at the door just before the show.

Tickets for your community group

Are you a member of an Evanston-based service organization interested in attending as a group? We may be able to provide community access tickets. Contact Carmen Francellno at for availability. 

Go beyond the show!

The Evanston Public Library is offering additional programming and resources to enrich the experience and impact of the show.

Books to Read In Honor of “1619: The Journey of a People, The Musical.”

For Kids: A great booklist for kids, compiled by EPL’s children’s librarians to engage with the the Black American experience. Check it out!

For Adults: Novels, nonfiction and more. Check out your next read.

Conversation with the Cast and Playwright

Join us for a conversation with Ted Williams III, writer and lead actor of 1619: The Journey of a People and members of the cast as they discuss how the musical was developed and it’s relevance in today’s culture and climate. Two chances to participate:

  • Thursday, June 20th: 6:30-7:30pm Main Library, Community Meeting Room. Register now.
  • Sunday, June 30th: After the final performance. (This option is for attendees of the last show. Buy tickets.) 

This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.


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