Freedom In 3 Acts

An exploration of emancipation through song. Winner of a 2015 Award of Merit from the Connecticut League of History Organizations










Freedom: In 3 Acts was inspired by The Amistad Center for Art & Culture’s Emancipation! exhibit which featured artifacts and visual images from the time of the Emancipation Proclamation to the present. Olivia White, the Executive Director of The Amistad Center for Art & Culture and Mara Lieberman, the Artistic Director of Bated Breath Theatre Company forged this collaboration in order to engage audiences in a new way that took the visual artifacts and infused them with energy and life within their historical context.   The piece created by Bated Breath Theatre Company ensemble is grounded in extensive research and uses slides of old photographs and other visual artifacts to accompany the on-stage action.  Jolie Rocke Brown (an honoree of The Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame) provided the musical direction for the piece. Ms. Brown specializes in the history of African American spirituals and led the company to sing musical selections that are both original in arrangement while placing them in their historical context. For example, Act I focuses on slave spirituals that contain embedded codes for escape on the Underground Railroad.  Using the songs, the company weaves a tapestry of historical moments of heroism and escape for the audience.  Additionally, Act III (the longest act) focuses on a Connecticut heroine, Marian Anderson. Through creative movement, historical footage of newsreels, quotes from Anderson and her colleagues, Bated Breath revives Anderson as the national gem she was. Anderson helped spark the civil rights movement with her commitment to bringing all people the highest quality music. Inspired by a simple photograph of Anderson on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, Bated Breath revives her journey as an artist and Connecticut hero for an audience who may not have ever heard of this legend.




Designers: Alyssa Campochiaro & Jolie Rocke Brown (costumes), Andrew Reardon (slides), Carrie Ricciardelli (poster logo)

Musical Direction and Selection: Jolie Rocke Brown

Devising Assitance: Julia Veron (choreography), Jolie Rocke Brown, Debra Walsh, Katya Collazo, Kevin Green, Georgia Miller, Aaron Pitre, Felix Reyes