Freedom Train

Follow Harriet Tubman on the Underground Railroad in “Freedom Train,” a Theatreworks USA musical at Diana Wortham Theatre, Feb. 25 & 26 at 10AM & 12PM

Theatreworks USA’s longest-running, highly acclaimed musical “Freedom Train,” based on the life of Harriet Tubman, is coming to Diana Wortham Theatre as part of its Matinee Series for students and families. “Freedom Train” will stage four shows at the theater at 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 25 & 26.

Harriet Tubman was born a slave, but when she was 25 she made her perilous escape from a Maryland plantation, leaving her family behind. Pursued by dogs and relentless slave catchers, she followed an escape route laid out by Quakers – hiding in churches, barns, cellars and safe homes.

The escape route that Harriet followed soon became known as the Underground Railroad, and she quickly became one of its most celebrated “conductors.” Up creek beds, through swamps, over hills in the dark of night, on 19 secret trips Harriet Tubman guided more than 300 slaves, including her aged parents, to freedom. “I never run my train off the track,” she said, “and I never lost a passenger.”

“Freedom Train” tells the thrilling story of Harriet Tubman in a fascinating series of highly theatrical scenes that use dance, dialogue, and music of the period. Written by Marvin Gordon and including a number of African American spirituals, “Freedom Train” is the story of self-sacrifice, dedication and survival, laced with warmth and a sense of humor that celebrates the human spirit – a universal story for all.

As part of Diana Wortham Theatre’s Matinee Series, the four Asheville performances of “Freedom Train” are open to families, students, schools, homeschoolers and other groups — recommended for children ages 8 and older. Each season, more than 10,000 students visit the theatre for its Matinee Series, experiencing entertaining, professional, often curriculum-related shows at an affordable cost. For many, these shows are a very first look at live performance — inspiring budding creativity and bringing classroom lessons to life.

Reservations are available now for “Freedom Train” and for all performances in Diana Wortham Theatre's 2018/2019 Matinee Series. Call 828-257-4530 for individual and group sales, or groups may email with questions. The Matinee Series Reservation form and the “Freedom Train” study guide are also available at

Teachers who may need help covering the cost of admission for students can apply for assistance through the Youth Education Scholarship (Y.E.S.) Fund, which provides need-based scholarships to cover the cost of admission for students and schools. Y.E.S. Fund applications can be accessed at

To obtain more information on the Matinee Series or to purchase tickets for the February 25 and 26 performances of “Freedom Train” (Individual $10 each; Groups of 11 or more $9 each), call the theatre’s box office at (828) 257-4530 or visit

The Diana Wortham Theatre is located at 18 Biltmore Ave. The intimate theatre seats just over 500 and boasts exceptional acoustics and sightlines, making it the premier performance space in Western North Carolina. The 2018/2019 Matinee Series Sponsors are Tina McGuire, Arby’s, and Wells Fargo.

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