The Hillsboro Story
is a warm-hearted, hard-hitting narrative, set in the writer's hometown, near the Mason Dixon Line, during one of America's most powerful turning points.
The story opens in Hillsboro, Ohio on July 5, 1954 when the "colored" elementary school went up in flames. The fire sparked a "school fight" led by five African American mothers that became the first test case for the Brown v. Board of Education decision (May, 1954) in the North. Ms. Banyas was in the third grade, and the memory of those times sparked this cultural detective story -- a lively weaving of spoken word, movement, monologues, and visual images, backed by an evocative original music score. The work is a sequel to No Strangers Here Today, a story of the Underground Railroad. Both works are set in Highland County, Ohio 100 years apart, and celebrate bi-racial resistance movements that are core to maintaining democracy and upholding human rights.
The Hillsboro Story premiered at Artists Repertory Theatre in Portland, Oregon/2011-12 season and toured toured to Topeka, Kansas to The Brown Foundation and to Cincinnati, Ohio to The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and Oregon and Ohio communities in 2011-12. The show is being presented in Hillsboro, Ohio in September, 2012 through an Ohio state library grant to Hillsboro High School. There will be a residency with the artists and public performance at Southern State Community College.
Funding for the development of this project has been made possible with grants from the
Regional Arts and Culture Council, The Puffin Foundation, Oregon Arts Commission, Pacific Power Foundation. Funding for the Theatre Premier and Educational Outreach are made possible with support from US Bank, Oregon Cultural Trust, and Ben Earle, Chris Rauschenberg, and Janet Stein