"The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting." ~ Milan Kundera
My Quaker Great-Great Grandmother, Elizabeth Edwards, kept a diary during the Civil War with the coded phrase no strangers here today inserted into her daily notations of life on a farm in southern Ohio. When I discovered this tiny treasure, history became personal. The words indicate that Elizabeth and her family were a link in the great socio-political movement called the Underground Railroad. At great personal risk, this multi-racial social network defied federal authority to move fugitives of slavery north to Canada and freedom.
No Strangers Here Today weaves memory, movement, music, primary documents, and historical anecdotes into an expressive record of a powerful period in American history. Performed in collaboration with David Ornette Cherry.
The original production was commissioned by the The Library Foundation of Los Angeles with additional support from the Regional Arts and Culture Council and was directed by choreographer, Gregg Bielemeier and theatre artist, Gwynne Warner.
"...a stirring portrait of abolitionist effort, and illuminating morally and historically." ~ The Oregonian