‘Heroes’ help Town celebrate Black History Month

Breunna Darling and Steven Gebhardt make up the Bright Star Touring Theatre cast who will perform “Heroes of the Underground Railroad” starting at 2 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 25, in Farragut Town Hall. The production is part of the Town’s observance of Black History Month.
In honor of Black History Month, Farragut Museum is recognizing the achievements of African-Americans with a theatrical performance, “Heroes of the Underground Railroad.”

The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place Sunday, Feb. 25, in Farragut Town Hall. A reception and museum tours will be held at 1 p.m., while the main performance, presented by Bright Star Touring Theatre, will begin at 2 p.m.

Bright Star Touring Theatre is a national professional theater company based out of Asheville, North Carolina.

“Our model is one band, two actors and three shows,” said Josh Batenhorst, Bright Star Theatre’s founder, owner and CEO. “We have been doing that for 16 years.”

Bright Star performs the productions at schools, libraries, museums and theaters “because [theater] is inherently enjoyable for people and a great tool for teaching math, science and history,” Batenhorst added.

“The [‘Heroes of the Underground Railroad’] story, told by cast members Steven Gebhardt and Breunna Darling, follows some of the most well-known figures of the time slavery was still around,” he said. “This [production] tells the story of the most prominent people who helped the slaves escape.”

“‘Heroes of the Underground Railroad’ is an inspiring exploration of the lives and work of notable abolitionists and slaves from America’s Underground Railroad,” Julia Barham, Farragut Museum historic resources coordinator, stated in a press release. “The show provides a fundamental historical context of the time period while recreating the lives and work of several prominent and nearly forgotten heroes.

“Harriet Tubman, Levi Coffin, Henry ‘Box’ Brown, John Parker and Frederick Douglass are just some of the figures brought to life within this 45-minute show,” Barham further stated. “The play sheds light on everything from secret messages along the routes to music from the period.

The production, ‘Heroes of the Underground Railroad,’ is one of Bright Star’s most requested shows.

“From the secret signs along routes to the abolitionist movement, this play leaves few stones unturned,” Barham stated. ‘This engaging production has routinely been called the ‘best assembly we’ve ever had’ by educators across America.”

The performance is suitable for elementary school students as young as third grade, she added.

“Farragut Museum is committed to preserving the heritage of its East Tennessee community and features a remarkable collection of artifacts from the area, including an extensive collection of the personal belongings of Adm. David Glasgow Farragut, the first Admiral of the U.S Navy and hero of the Civil War,” a Town press release stated.

Housed in Farragut Town Hall at 11408 Municipal Center Drive, the museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. It offers free admission.

For more information, visit online at www.townoffarragut.org/museum, like Farragut Museum on Facebook or contact Barham at museum@townoffarragut.org or by calling 865-966-7057.