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Miami University
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Play by Miami senior tells stories
of the Underground Railroad

11/19/2007

"Cincinnati 28," a play by Miami senior Kristin Elzey, recently was performed at the Cincinnati Museum Center. The drama is based on the true story of 28 fugitive slaves who hired a conductor to lead them on a journey through the Ohio River valley and on to Canada.

"The play is mainly about viewpoints," says Elzey. "It shares the viewpoints of the slave catcher, the runaway slave, the overseer and the conductor through monologues." Characters also include a mother and child, plantation cook and free black man.

"I wrote the play my junior year of high school for a class project," says Elzey. "It started as a short play, highlighting the story of a slave woman who escaped with her baby. My mother was doing some research for another play and found this untold, true story. We then collaborated to write 'Cincinnati 28' based on my short story." Kristen graduated from Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy; she is a senior strategic communication major at Miami and has a minor in entrepreneurship.

Her mother, Lynn, was researching her own play, "Runaway Slave," for performances at the Heritage Museum Center in Sharon Woods. Lynn previously worked there and now works for the Museum Center.

"Cincinnati 28" is designed for grades 4-12, to investigate themes of courage and change. An accompanying curriculum guide says the play emphasizes the importance of a compassionate voice, the touch of a helping hand, and illustrates the strength and sacrifices of those who gave their lives so that others could achieve freedom.

Additional performances are scheduled Feb. 6, 7, 8, 13, 14 and 15.

For more information, call the Museum Center at (513) 287-7000, extension 7292.

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