Young actors with Asante Children’s Theatre will stage five performances of a full-length play beginning July 27 at Conner Prairie.
“More Light: Douglass Returns” written by Indiana playwright Celeste Williams was inspired by the historic return to Indiana by prominent American abolitionist, writer and speaker Frederick Douglass.
The play came about after Williams, a former Indianapolis Star journalist, wrote a non-fiction piece in 2014 about Douglass for an area arts journal. That article recounted an appearance by Douglass in Pendleton, Ind., in 1843, when he was severely beaten as he attempted to give a speech against slavery. That incident of violence contrasted with the reception Douglass received in 1880 — some 37 years later — at a political rally in Noblesville, Ind.
“By then, the Civil War had been fought. Douglass gained his freedom and became one of the most famous orators of his time,” Williams said. “Race relations in the 19th century were still fraught with problems but by the time Douglass returned to Indiana for a speech in 1880, he was welcomed with enthusiastic crowds of people who lauded his position as a statesman.”
“More Light: Douglass Returns” performances are:
- 7 p.m. July 27
- 3 p.m. July 29
- 7 p.m. July 30
- 3 p.m. Aug. 5
- 7 p.m. Aug. 6
All performances are in Lilly Theater inside the Welcome Center at Conner Prairie, located at 13400 Allisonville Road in Fishers.
Tickets are free for Conner Prairie members and $5 for the general public. Tickets can be bought prior to each show, in advance online and by calling (317) 776-6000.