project leader
Kevin C
2600 Church Ave
(Multiple Cleveland Neighborhoods)
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the project

We want to tell well-researched, historically accurate stories about the underground railroad activities in 19th century NE Ohio. Actors will perform in historically relevant locations in Cleveland, including churches, cemeteries, and public spaces. The plan presents three unique stories at four Cleveland locations. We would tell the stories of Sara Lucy Bagby, the last fugutive returned to thesouth by order of Judge James TIlden, Cyrus Ford, farmer and abolitionist, James Brown, barber and abolitionist who brought fugitives from his hotel barber shop to the Cuyahogsa River boats, abolitionist Congressman Ned Wade and more. 

Our goal is to present something of significance to the community and allow as many people as possible to attend this unique experience for free. 

We need to raise $10,000 to pay more NE Ohio actors and writers, supplementing the $4000 already raised. 

the steps

  • Gather fundraising partners to supplement the reach of the fundraising plan. Cleveland organizations Restore Cleveland Hope, Dobama Theatre, Karamu House, Cleveland Public Theatre and others have already indicated their support, with offers of fundraising assistance. 
  • Hire award-winning writers and directors to prepare additional scripts and engage actors to supplement those already in use in prior years. 
  • Arrange logistics including directional signs, volunteer recruitment, necessary facilities, such as parking lots for those arriving by car or bicycle and portlets for those lacking facilities.  
  • Prepare education materials for schools and patrons.
  • Coordinate media and promotion strategies with volunteer professional media partners.

why we're doing it

This theater project will bring to life, Northeast Ohio stories of abolition for freedom-seeking enslaved individuals and those who helped them reach freedom.  Actors will perform original materials in four outdoor settings in Cleveland, Ohio, easily accessible for all area residents, as described above. These settings and stories reflect historically accurate stories to the best that can be ascertained and verified. Each site will host up to three characters and their individual stories, with performances of 10-15 minutes. 


The performances illustrate a core moral issue at a time of great risk and personal peril. Those escaping for freedom risked everything, and if caught and returned were hanged, mutilated or made examples for the rest of the enslaved people.  Individuals assisting freedom-seeking former slaves were violating Federal Fugitive Slave Laws and risked fines, imprisonment, and loss of property. Nevertheless, people of varying faiths, races, religions and levels of wealth came together to help.  These performances model admirable behavior, commitment to shared goals, the perception of right and wrong, passion and willingness to act, despite the risk of personal peril.  These performances will present opportunities for an analogy to today, self-analysis and introspection. As the abolitionist lawyer, Edward Wade character said: "What sort of nation are we? What sort of nation do we aspire to be? I suppose those questions are never fully answered, are they?"


The program is free and family-friendly. The program intends to attract families throughout northeast Ohio, as well as promote visitors that are keenly interested in the subject from other areas of the state and region. The program will also encourage attendance by students and schools, both K-12 and area colleges and universities.  


Responsibility    Name    Rate
Writer          $150 
Writer        $150 
Actor        $150 
Actor        $150 
Director/music        $675 
Editor        $150 
Executive Producer/Fundraiser        $700 
Producer        $200 
Consultant        $150 
Total        $2,475 

TOTAL RAISED = $1,660.00
ioby Platform Fee $35.00
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $48.15
Updated budget 2.6.19:

ioby Platform Fee $35
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $233
Oringial Budget:
SUBTOTAL $15,000
ioby Platform Fee $35
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $450
Total to Raise on ioby= $15,485


Sorry, but this project doesn't have any updates yet.


This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


  • Linda Eisenstein
  • Friends of Bodwin Theatre Company
  • Patrick Shepherd
  • Anonymous