Possessing Harriet (NJ Premiere) In 1839, Harriet Powell escaped from her Southern owner with the help of a freed slave who took her to the home of abolitionist Gerrit Smith. While hiding in his attic, a price on her head, she waits to be taken to Canada – and freedom. With her is Elizabeth Cady (before she married Stanton), an advocate for women’s equality. Confronted with new and difficult ideas about race and identity, Harriet was forced to face the costs – and benefits - of freedom. Written by Kyle Bass, this compelling play premiered in October 2018, at Syracuse Stage, where he serves as associate artistic director. Last summer, it was performed at the Franklin Stage Company, also in New York. Mr. Bass received a commission from the Onondaga Historical Association to write Possessing Harriet. It is based on a true story.