Written by Michael Gene Sullivan
Music and Lyrics by Ira Marlowe
Additional Music by Michael Bello
Directed by Andrea Snow
Music Directed by Michael Bello
FREEDOMLAND featured Hugo E Carbajal, Lisa Hori-Garcia, Michael Gene Sullivan, and George P. Scott.
And band members Ray Fernandez, Aaron Kierbel and Daniel Savio
A door is blown off its hinges! Into a blasted room of scarred walls and shattered windows, armed with M-16's, America's bravest duck and dodge for cover, finally training their deadly gunsights on... an old black man watching TV on his couch? This isn't Baghdad or Kandahar - its home, and for ex-Black Panther Malcolm Haywood it's just another wrong door police raid in the War on Drugs. So of course Malcolm is horrified when the grandson he's tried to protect, Nathaniel, returns from serving in Afghanistan only to find another war zone at home - and one where young Black men like Nathaniel are in the crosshairs! Meanwhile the Mayor and the Police Chief - one desperate for votes, the other desperate to fund his militarized police force - ramp up the fear (and their shiny new tank) to fight the newest, drug threat to America... worse than weed, meth, coke, crack, or crank, it's... SNORF!! And, of course, the SNORF trade is centered in the.. darkest... part of town...
Are the police out of control? What happened to "innocent until proven guilty"? Is Malcolm's neighbor Lluis (an undocumented immigrant,) actually a SNORF-lord? And can Malcolm convince his grandson that it is safer to re-up and fight overseas than to try to survive here at home, in Freedomland?
Freedomland was voted winner of "Outstanding Performance by the Ensemble of a Musical" and nominated for three other awards: "Outstanding World Premiere Musical", "Outstanding Direction", & "Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Principal Role in a Musical" by Theatre Bay Area awards!
Poster by Lawton Lovely