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SMC premieres “Freedom Bound”

Bridget Feeney | Thursday, February 2, 2012

Mad River Theatre Works, a traveling company of actors, will debut “Freedom Bound,” an original play that explores the history of the Underground Railroad, tonight at Saint Mary’s.

Richard Baxter, director of Special Events for the College, said he first heard of “Freedom Bound” from a friend who recommended the theatre company to him.

“I had heard about Mad River Theatre productions from one of my colleagues and we had an opportunity to book the group on a return trip from a performance in Chicago,” he said.

Baxter said the play tells the story of Addison White, a fugitive slave in the mid-19th century. Though White successfully escapes to the North, he is not free due to a Fugitive Slave law that stated a U.S. Marshal could recapture slaves and send them back South. When White’s owner took the case to court, it received national attention, Baxter said.

Baxter said the the chance to bring “Freedom Bound” to Saint Mary’s was too enticing to resist.

“The opportunity was too good to pass up,” he said.

Though he had difficulties scheduling the performance time, Baxter said he is excited to introduce the Saint Mary’s community to this historical era.

“I hope the audience will leave with a deeper appreciation for the role of the Underground Railroad in our region’s history,” he said.

Baxter said he hopes “Freedom Bound” will be an enlightening experience for all involved.

“Audience members may expect an outstanding performance from an award winning theatre company,” he said.

“Freedom Bound” premieres tonight at 7:30 p.m. in O’Laughlin Auditorium at the Moreau Center for the Arts at Saint Mary’s. Tickets costs $8 with a student ID and $18 for the general public. Tickets may be purchased before the event, by visiting www.moreaucenter.com or by calling 574-284-4626.