The play also starred professional actor and storyteller Chetter Galloway of Atlanta, Ga. Galloway performed the central role of Tom Nunn, an escaped slave who dedicated his adventure-filled life to finding freedom.
"It was a great time for our country, even if it had great griefs and wrongs," said Galloway. "So much was happening! I can't imagine any life of that time which could be dull or boring. And Tom Nunn was thrown young into that turmoil. On a river boat taking him South to a cruel life, he jumps ship, only to stumble into the famous Harriet Tubman. He shares her adventures on the Underground Railroad. But that's just the start for Tom."
"Tom is cool, with all that word really means," says LMU soccer player Suilemon Khan, who acted in the part of another young, desperate escapee. "Even when Tom thinks there's no chance, he doesn't give up, and he doesn't
stop being the proud, independent African he always was."
In the play, Tom is aided by Annie, played by LMU museum arts student Natalie Sweet. "Annie is more independent and logical than most," she said. "She knows her way in the woods, and her logic helps her decipher a vital message for Tom." Sweet drew acting inspiration for her character from her study of girls in the Civil War period.
LMU art major Leslie Trent from Ewing, Virginia, plays kindly Beth. "She has the warmest heart," says the soft-spoken Trent. "She pities Tom's injuries and sympathizes with his dangers."
"The hardest role is Nathan Post," said local Civil War re-enactor Benjamin Bennett who portrays a slave hunter's son. "Nathan has to choose between what his slave-hunting father wants and his own conscience."
Though all four students came to the production from various backgrounds and differing interests, all four helped to widen the knowledge and values of local school children. Over 1000 elementary and middle school students
watched "Reach Out For Freedom," which combined music, drama and a quilting display. The program was presented through the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum.