'The Sapelo Project' was written and curated by Sapelo descendant, actor, & writer JL Josiah Watts. Presented at Theater Emory February 2014 it was directed by Theater Emory Artistic Director Janice Akers. It is a theater piece that integrates music, movement, spoken word, acting, and cinema to capture some of the culture and stories of Sapelo Island and the development of the Saltwater Geechee-Gullah dialect, the history of slavery on the island, and the melding of influences of Arabic, English, Spanish and French.
"The Sapelo Project is a detailed interpretation of the lives of the direct descendants of enslaved Africans brought from West Africa via the Middle Caicos. It is about a people surviving the horrors of one of the worst journeys in recorded human history to somehow build a unique way of life that still survives to this day. The Sapelo Project is a documentation of not only their perseverance, but also their ability to maintain their family traditions while under the very vestiges of slavery. It is a demonstration of how they maintained a foundation of family though they were enslaved. It is about how they maintained their African traditions day in & day out, and passed them along through many generations. It is about how they made music when they couldn't speak, how they danced in ways to feel, how they loved one another through it all." - JL Josiah Watts