Freedom Riders is set in 1961 as two young women from Harvard try to decide if they should join the Freedom Rides of the 1960s. As you travel along you will meet Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Bobby Kennedy, Theodore Roosevelt, W.E.B. Dubois and many others who fought both for and against our nation's struggle for Civil Rights. Experience sit-ins and lunch counters and the dark days of Jim Crow. Learn the history as four performers bring this struggle alive though the words of historical figures, song, and recreations. The struggle for Freedom is the struggle of all Americans to accept our differences and celebrate the triumph of freedom. The Freedom Riders helped show America the way and can inspire young people today to see the value of freedom and the courage it takes to make a difference. Ideal for Black History month observances.
This is the first play in a trilogy. Also see: “No Easy Road” and “Martin and Malcolm.”
Playwright Tom Quinn Talks About His Play “Freedom Riders”
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE THIS PLAY?
I was a 10th grade history teacher and my students seemed bored by Civil Rights. I took out their text book and put the images and events into a play to show them the natural drama and that it was regular people who made the difference in the Civil Rights Movement.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE PART OR LINE IN THE PLAY? WHY?
My favorite scene is the courage of the lunch counter scene. Best example of someone non-famous making the difference.
WHERE DID THE CHARACTERS COME FROM? ARE THEY BASED ON PEOPLE YOU KNOW?
The characters all came from history and many of the lines are direct quotes.
WHAT DID YOU TRY TO ACHIEVE WITH THIS PLAY?
I wanted to put the history of the movement into 45 minutes and hopefully spark greater curiosity.