Home on the Mornin’ Train

Author(s):

1839, Talledega, Alabama: slavery is alive and doing quite well in the United States. 1939, Hamburg, Germany: Hitler has called for the extermination of Jews. Jewish children Rifka and Aaron are sent by their parents into hiding with the Westemeier family in rural Germany. Soon they are joined by other Jewish children, Baruch, David and Ledah. The plan is to take them by boat to safety in Denmark. While in hiding, the Jewish children read from a first-person account of a runaway teenage slave named Brave Mary. They learn of the history of slavery in the United States and Brave Mary's story of escaping an Alabama plantation in the 1830s. Brave Mary is joined in her escape by Katie-Mae and a young boy named Kindred. The means of survival for both groups of children is the Underground Railroad. The Westemeier's son, Karl, helps his father smuggle the Jewish children out of Germany. In America, Adelaide, the daughter of an abolitionist banker, gives asylum to runaway slaves on their flight to freedom. Olivia, a slave, puts herself in jeopardy as she uses her owner's boat to ferry blacks across the Ohio River. Trials and tribulations beset both groups of children. However, the Jewish children are inspired by the strength and courage of the black children trying to find their way to Canada, as they make their own way to Denmark. This play has songs that reflect African-American and Jewish cultures, and small pieces of dialogue are spoken in German, Yiddish and Hebrew.
Format: Full-length play
Cast Size: 7M/8F
Running time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Snapshot

Notes:

See also playwright’s website.

Original or Prominent Production: Kalamazoo Civic Theater, Kalamazoo, MI; University of North Carolina, Greensboro, N.C.; Mudlark Theater, Chicago, IL; Grand Rapids Civic Theater, Grand Rapids, MI; Saginaw Academy of Arts and Sciences, Saginaw, MI; Theatercraft/ Tennessee Performing Arts Ctr, Nashville, TN; University of Texas Theater, Austin, TX; Youth Performance Theater, Minneapolis, MN; Steppingstone Theatre, St. Paul, MN.
Nationality of Author:
Original Language: English
Production Rights Holder:

Dramatic Publishing

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