Freedom Train is the story of self-sacrifice, dedication and survival, laced with warmth and a sense of humor that celebrates the human spirit—a universal story for all!
Harriet Tubman was born a slave, but, when she was 25, she made her perilous escape from a Maryland plantation, leaving her family behind. Pursued by dogs and relentless slave catchers, she followed an escape route laid out by Quakers—secret hiding places in churches, barns, cellars and homes.
The escape route that Harriet followed soon became known as the Underground Railroad, and she quickly became one of its most celebrated 'conductors.' Up creek beds, through swamps, over hills in the dark of night, on 19 secret trips, Harriet Tubman guided more than 300 slaves, including her aged parents, to freedom. "I never run my train off the track," she said, "and I never lost a passenger."
Freedom Train tells the thrilling story of Harriet Tubman, the Moses of her people, in a fascinating series of highly theatrical scenes that use dance, dialogue and music of the period. Songs include "Follow the Drinking Gourd," "Steal Away," "Wade in the Water," "Good News, the Chariot's A-comin'," and many others still sung today.
Approximate Running Time: 60 Minutes
Recommended Ages: Grades 3 through 9
Both Broadway actor Chuck Cooper and his son, Eddie Cooper, performed in Freedom Train early in their respective careers.
Original Direction by Gloria Jones Schultz
Scenic Design by Hal Tine Music
Arrangements by Garrett Morris and Ron Burton
Orchestrations by Harrison Fisher