The Firsts


An Educational Touring Show

TheFirsts3Zora Neale Hurston takes us on a tour through the history of 5 African American women who’ve achieved greatness in the face of adversity. In this 2 woman show, Sojourner Truth, Stagecoach Mary, Aretha Franklin, Mae Jamison, and Oprah Winfrey describe their groundbreaking journeys. Written and performed by Antu Yacob, THE FIRSTS features teenager, Laila, who is stuck in bad habits and bad choices, but who has a lot of good inside her.  She takes a dream-like journey encountering the aforementioned women who faced similar hardships but managed to break the cycle of bad choices and strive for greatness.  THE FIRSTS is a positive and empowering play which serves to teach about diversity, self-respect, and the value of hard work and setting goals. Directed by Michole Biancosino, THE FIRSTS had its world premiere February 2013 in Project Y Theatre’s New York New Playwrights Festival. THE FIRSTS is a proud recipient of the prestigious 2013 H.E.A.R.T. Grant.

*Each school performance of THE FIRSTS features a post-show “talkback” with students. Led by the artists including a musician, actor, and playwright, topics can include themes of community, diversity, and the lives of the historical figures presented as well as aspects of the theatrical process and putting up a play. For bookings, email

World premiere of Antu Yacob's two woman show THE FIRSTS

Cast member Jevonnah Mayo and accompanist Kena Onyejekwe alongside show writer/actor Antu Yacob. Photo credit: Anthony Artis

“This performance and talkback was a once in a lifetime experience for our students.”

-Principal BJ BrownJohnson, Clinton Elementary School, Plainfield, NJ.