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BRAHM to Host Bright Star Theatre’s ‘Heroes of the Underground Railroad’ on Sun. Feb. 21

By Jessica Isaacs | jessica@highcountrypress.com

History will come to life this weekend with Bright Star Touring Theatre’s performance of Heroes of the Underground Railroad at Blowing Rock Art and History Museum on Sunday, Feb. 21.

Harriet Tubman is portrayed in Bright Star's peformance of "Heroes of the Underground Railroad."
Harriet Tubman is portrayed in Bright Star’s peformance of “Heroes of the Underground Railroad.”

The show will be part of the museum’s Mini Matinee series, which is designed to introduce children and their families to a variety of live performances, including music, storytelling and theatre.

The Asheville-based, national professional touring theatre company Bright Star will showcase this acclaimed production, which has been carried from the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati to audiences across the country.

“Live theater in general helps kids understand history because they see it played out in characters that they can relate to, so it’s much easier to foster historical empathy,” said BRAHM Education and Outreach Director Leila Weinstein. “When you have identifiable characters rather than a sweeping description of something that happened in history, they can personalize it and put a name and a face to it.”

Heroes of the Underground Railroad

A release from Bright Star explains that Heroes of the Underground Railroad aims to “inspire young audiences with the stories of everyday Americans who stood up for their beliefs and worked to make our world a better place.”

The show is described as an “inspiring exploration of the lives and work of notable Abolitionists and slaves from America’s Underground Railroad,” providing “a fundamental historical context of the time period while recreating the lives and work of prominent heroes.”

Audiences will enjoy learning about and getting to know figures like Harriet Tubman, Levi Coffin, Henry “Box” Brown, John Parker, Frederick Douglass and more. The play sheds light on everything from secret messages along the routes to music from the period.

“We’ve not worked with Bright Star before, but I’ve heard amazing things a bout them,” said Weinstein. “We have never had a performance here that’s just solid theater, either, so I’m very excited about it and I think it’s going to be really fun.”

The performance will be approximately 45 minutes in length and is best suited for adults and children in second grade and up.

Tickets to Sunday’s 2 p.m. show will cost $10 per family for non-members and $8 per family for museum members.

“We strive to offer high quality programming all the time, and we want our resources to be available to the community no matter what the socioeconomic situation is,” Weinstein said. “We have a very diverse community, economically speaking, and we would like everybody to be able to come to the museum.

“We also, in many of our programs, offer the possibility of scholarships for kids if people can’t afford them. It is really important to us that the museum be open to everyone.”

For more information, call the museum at 828-295-9099.

The program will be funded in part by the Watauga County Arts Council and grassroots funds of the North Carolina Arts Council.

Check out BrightStarTheatre.com for a study guide to help you prepare for and better understand the show.