Local play ‘More Light: Douglass Returns’ begins five-performance run July 27 at Conner Prairie


    Duane Brodt
    Director of Public Relations
    Conner Prairie
    (800) 966-1836

    FISHERS, Ind. (Tuesday, July 11, 2017/Conner Prairie) – The latest creation in a growing museum theater collaboration between Conner Prairie and an Indianapolis youth theater organization begins a five-day run July 27. 

    “More Light: Douglass Returns” is a full-length play written by Indiana playwright Celeste Williams and 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” features performers from Asante Children’s Theatre and is a Main Street Production in association with the Roberts Settlement. The play is supported by the Christel DeHaan Family Foundation and is part of the Giving Voice Initiative, which focuses on the African-American presence in Indiana history.

    Performances are 7 p.m. July 27, 3 p.m. July 29, 7 p.m. July 30, 3 p.m. Aug. 5 and 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 $5 and can be purchased the night of show, in advance online at connerprairie.org or by calling (317) 776-6000.

    Asante Children’s Theatre educates, challenges and inspires young artists ages 6 and up and provides the opportunity for youth and adults to work together learning and building confidence through acting, singing, dancing, storytelling, writing and more. For more, visit asantechildrenstheatre.org.

    Spanning nearly 1,000 wooded acres in central Indiana, Conner Prairie welcomes nearly 400,000 visitors of all ages annually. As Indiana’s first Smithsonian Institute affiliate, Conner Prairie offers various outdoor, historically themed destinations and indoor experiential learning spaces that combine history and art with science, technology, engineering and math to offer an authentic look into history that shapes society today.


     # # #

    Conner Prairie’s mission is to inspire curiosity and foster learning about Indiana by providing engaging, individualized and unique experiences. Created by Eli Lilly in 1934, Conner Prairie combines history with science, technology, engineering and math and encourages visitors to explore Indiana’s natural and cultural heritage through hands-on, immersive and interactive experiences. Inspiring visitors of all ages to discover more about the events, discoveries and forces that shaped the American Midwest, Conner Prairie offers various historically themed, indoor and outdoor experience areas throughout its nearly 1,000 acres of wooded property in Fishers, Ind. Indiana’s first Smithsonian Institute Affiliate and accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, Conner Prairie is a 501(c)3, non-profit organization that relies on grants and philanthropic donations from corporations and individuals for sustainability and growth. Visit connerprairie.org or call (800) 966-1836 for admission dates, hours, ticket prices and opportunities to donate and volunteer. Conner Prairie is on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Flickr and YouTube.