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Theater

Lombard venue to host ensemble cast's uplifting 'Liberty Lines'

New show to track Underground Railroad's role in Civil War

Appearing in "The Liberty Lines" will be Casey Calhoun (from left), Gloria Robinson, Tonya Peebles, Runako Soyini, Christopher Skyles and Andrew Calhoun; Chris Walz is not pictured.
Appearing in "The Liberty Lines" will be Casey Calhoun (from left), Gloria Robinson, Tonya Peebles, Runako Soyini, Christopher Skyles and Andrew Calhoun; Chris Walz is not pictured.

LOMBARD – “The Liberty Lines – How the Underground Railroad Spurred the Civil War” is a moving history in song and story coming to the stage at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 21 at Lombard’s Maple Street Chapel.

It is spearheaded by musician and author Andrew Calhoun, and performed by an ensemble cast, a news release stated.

“‘The Liberty Lines’ grew out of an annual program that I have been a part [of] at the Graue Mill for over a decade,” Calhoun said in the release. “I wanted to expand the production to trace the history of the Underground Railroad as a grass-roots movement of conscience which spurred the Civil War.”

“The Liberty Lines” is composed of spirituals and folk songs, interspersed with readings of 19th-century narratives from enslaved people and other primary sources.

They include narratives by Frederick Douglass and James Pennington, the true story of the woman crossing the Ohio River from which Harriet Beecher Stowe took her tale of Eliza crossing the ice for “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” quotations from Harriet Tubman and the account of a military raid she organized and led in South Carolina, and essential information on African-American military participation in the Civil War from “Black Reconstruction” by William E.B. Du Bois and Thomas W. Higginson’s “Army Life in a Black Regiment.”

The cast of singers, actors and musicians joining Calhoun includes Tonya Peebles, Gloria Robinson, Christopher Skyles, Runako Soyini, Chris Walz and Casey Calhoun.

“The Liberty Lines” program is produced by Calhoun and Melissa Dagenhart in conjunction with the Maple Street Chapel Preservation Society.

If you go

WHAT: “The Liberty Lines – How the Underground Railroad Spurred the Civil War”

WHERE: Maple Street Chapel, 200 S. Main St., Lombard

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Sept. 21

COST: $20 in advance, $25 at the door

INFO: maplestreetchapel.org; co-producer at outboxedmusic@gmail.com, 630-627-0171

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