Freedom Flight presented by Mad River Theater Works, is a 57-minute play with music that explores a historic story of the Underground Railroad in rural Ohio, presenting vocabulary and concepts including The Underground Railroad, Slavery in American History, The Fugitive Slave Act and Abolition. In an effort to remain relevant to our young audiences, the company has created the new production to include a modern day character, Evelyn, who is an ancestral bridge to the troublesome history that is slavery in America. Audiences are invited to see the historical experience of her ancestors through her eyes as a high-school aged student in the present day. As this is depicting the true story of Addision White’s journey and the violence and inequity that were part of slavery, guns were very much present in that world and are therefore used in this production.
The production of Freedom Flight contains two prop guns. They are not fired on the stage, but at one point during an on-stage blackout, the firing of a gun is signified by a dropped 2×6 board off-stage. The violence is explained as both an act of self-defense and preservation, and is a historically accurate moment in the actual lives of the characters. However, this scene may be challenging or traumatic for some students. As always, Mad River’s production contains live music and is made to be an uplifting, historic and culturally vibrant presentation that will create a lasting positive experience for audiences of all ages.
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