The San Francisco Mime Troupe’s FREEDOMLAND is coming to the internet!
In cooperation with Actor’s Equity Association the Mime Troupe is finally able to bring our critically-acclaimed original play about the anti-Black violence of the police state to the widest possible audience - the whole world!
In 2015 the Tony award-winning San Francisco Mime Troupe presented an original tragic farce - FREEDOMLAND - to critical praise in parks around the Bay Area, and in theaters across California. FREEDOMLAND is the story of the lengths a Black man will go to in order to keep his grandson safe and alive in a country that seems to prefer Black men in jail or dead. Pulling no punches while still managing to be comedic, FREDOMLAND was a brutal, tragic, yet in the Mime Troupe tradition sardonic look at the results of the War on Drugs, how fear is used as a weapon of racial oppression, and how police violence destroys Black lives in our police state.
And now, for the first time, the San Francisco Mime Troupe will be making one of it’s most hard-hitting shows available for a limited time online. Dates will be announced soon for the two week online run, so stay tuned for the return of FREEDOMLAND.
Michael Gene Sullivan
Music and Lyrics by
Featuring George Scott, Lisa Hori-Garcia,
Hugo Carbajal, and Michael Gene Sullivan
Directed by Andrea Snow
Nominated, 2015 Theatre Bay Area Awards:
Outstanding World Premiere Musical
Outstanding Direction of a Musical
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Principal Role in a Musical
Winner! Outstanding Ensemble
“A door is blown off its hinges! Into a blasted room of scarred walls and shattered windows, armed with M-16's, America's brave men and women in blue 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 a home in America, 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.
A drug trade that is, of course, 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 drug-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?”
“Deft running gags and a powerful wallop of a reality check lurking under the satirical silliness… High-energy and often hilarious while also serving as a sobering depiction of how entire segments of the population can be automatically seen as a threat because of the color of their skin in this supposedly “postracial” society.”
Sam Hurwitt, Marin Independent
“The humor is broad, the music is catchy, and by the end, the audience is on their feet to the tune of “There can be no law till there’s order / There can be no peace till there’s justice… “Freedomland” never gives up. This is a new play with top commedia standards.”
Barry David Horowitz, Theatrestorm
“Bravura performance.” “Brilliant.” “Freedomland stands out as one of the most thoughtful and sobering (of the Troupe’s productions.) It is fraught with emotion and analysis. Call it, for want of a better phrase, a "musical tragedy," fueled with a polemicist's intensity, a Shakespearean reach, and a doo-wop dollop of tuneful songs. Freedomland rises to an important new level of radical criticism.”
Gar Smith, Berkeley Daily Planet
“The production should break under the weight of its content aspirations, but playwright Sullivan and director Snow keep the pathos on simmer until the end. The laughs, served in a steady flow, are justly earned and make it almost too easily bearable to consider the tragic situation on display.”
Robert Sokol, San Francisco Examiner
“While there is plenty of its famous, biting humor, there is also a serious undercurrent throughout this year's offering that is not just a picnic-in-the-park diversion. Freedomland is a rallying call for citizen oversight and action… Once again, the San Francisco Mime Troupe has produced an action-initiating play that deserves to be seen far and wide.”
Eddie Reynolds, Talkin’ Broadway