No Easy Road to Freedom: Lessons in American Diversity
Monday, December 6, 2021 6:30-8:30pm
Tuesday, December 7, 2021: 6:30-8:30pm
Auditions will be held IN PERSON at Fresno City College in TA 105. Please prepare a monologue from the show. Sides are available below.
Callback will be held on Wednesday, December 8, 2021 from 6:30-8:30pm in TA105. Callbacks will consist of reading sides from the show.
All actors who are cast are expected to enroll in TA 40 for Spring 2022.
No Easy Road to Freedom: Lessons in American Diversity is a 40 minute theatre production written by Tom Quinn. The show takes audiences on an exciting journey of discovery and understanding. Beginning in the late 19th century and taking us right up to today, No Easy Road to Freedom introduces us to many characters who made the headlines in the ongoing struggle for racial equality and the right to freely exist without persecution here in America. Audiences are transported from the shores of Ellis Island to California; the open plains of Wyoming to the Deep South. With each stop, people depicted in history books come to life on stage. Through personal stories, historical events such as the Holocaust, Women’s Suffrage and the Civil Rights Movement will be passed on to generations to come. It is our responsibility to remember the history of our nation—to keep it “alive” and relevant for everyone today so that we can move forward on our nation’s walk to freedom, keeping hatred and prejudice at bay.
This show will have both on campus performances and tour to approximately 10 regional high schools.
REHEARSALS AND PERFORMANCES:
Rehearsals are tentatively expected to be 12-2pm Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from January 10- March 3. This may change based on actor availability.
On Campus Performances will take place:
- Friday, March 4 at 7:30pm
- Saturday, March 5 at 2pm and 7:30pm
- Friday, March 11 at 7:30pm
- Saturday, March 12 at 2pm and 7:30pm
Touring Performances will be scheduled on Friday afternoons between March 11 and April 29. Additional dates may be added if necessary. Actors will need to be available from 12-4pm on Fridays to travel to high school campuses, load in, perform and load out.
This show is written for 4 actors: 2 male and 2 female. Each character is assigned one name, but plays 5-10 different roles. Some roles may be double cast.
- ANGELO: Italian Immigrant, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Poppa, Bus Driver, Native-American, Prof. Edward H. Clarke, ‘50’s Dad, Matthew Shepard
- MARTIN: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Businessman, Foreman, Soldier, Langston Hughes
- LUCY: Japanese Intern, Rosa Parks, Paperboy, Longshoreman, ‘50’s Housewife
- GLORIA: Flapper, Rachel, Longshoreman, Soldier, Mexican-American, Susan B. Anthony, Rosie the Riveter, World Trade Center witness
Please email Karina Balfour with any questions or further inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
ANGELO: (first portion done in Italian accent then dropped where noted. Please attempt it if possible.)
I did not know what a Wop was. Apparently, it was a name used to make fun of Italian immigrants. It did not take me long to realize that people looked at me differently because I was Italian. I did whatever I could to learn the language, but it took time. People looked at me like I was stupid and somehow did not want to be a part of this country. I learned enough English so I could understand and things were no so confusing to me. Yet I still had an accent and every once in a while people would say things behind my back. But I did not care, I was free. I came to America to be free. I wanted a place where my children could grow to be whatever they wanted and I knew that someday I would have a grandson who would no speak with an accent like me. (Drops accent) A grandson who was not judged as being different. But fit in perfectly. No one would judge him as anything but what he was. An American. Maybe some of you have relatives who sound or sounded like my grandfather did. My grandfather lived the dream and saw that lady with the lamp. It was no easy road but he found his way to freedom.
MARTIN: (speaking as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.)
We will not ride your buses until you allow the Negro to sit wherever they may choose just as a white passenger. We ask for fairness in this small way. Let us hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away and the deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted from our fear-drenched communities. And in some not-too-distant tomorrow, the radiant starts of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty. I don’t care how long it takes. This is no easy road. But I do not walk it alone. I do not speak the way you do. I try to speak for an entire race. I am giving a speech about the power of freedom in Washington D.C. I am going to make freedom ring from the Lincoln Memorial for all the nation to hear.
You see, I wear strange clothes. Even on hot days I wear long sleeves because I do not want people to see the tattoo on my arm. No American wears anything like this as a reminder of the actions of its government. (She holds up her arm and pulls back her sleeve revealing a blue faded tattoo. A number.) America is where I came to live. I knew that in America I had a chance to be safe. I was allowed to be what my heritage told me to be. I was allowed to be proud of my religion and who my father was because of America. I was born in Poland and in 1939 I was taught to be ashamed of who I am. Freedom is precious. America gave me my freedom back, but not before a man named Adolf Hitler in Germany murdered 6 million Jewish people like me. It was called the Holocaust. He put tattoos on our arms so he could tell us apart. We did not have names; simply numbers. I was prisoner 17012. For two years no one called me Rachel. I was 17012. After a while I forgot who Rachel was. I became a number. He referred often to what he called “the Jewish problem.” He set out to wipe my entire race off the planet. This was called his final solution.
What about me? I’m America too! I agree that African Americans, and Native Americans, and Hispanic Americans should be remembered for all of their struggles, but what about me! There is a group of people that we haven’t talked about yet. You might even be sitting next to a member of this group right now! Over 50 percent of the country belongs to a group that had to fight for freedom and some say they still fight to this day. Who am I talking about? Women! The document that started this country called the Declaration of Independence said that all men were created equal and that all governments are instituted among men. Even the Constitution says that government is supposed to be by the consent of the governed, but no women got to express her consent when they wrote that document in Philadelphia in 1787. I don’t know about you, but I think if they had a little female input our country might have been a lot better off.