The play premiered at the historic Bristol Opera House in Bristol, Indiana, on June 26, 2015 and at The History Museum in South Bend, Indiana, on July 3, 2015. Productions were presented with The Acting Ensemble and Elkhart Civic Theater.
Produced and written by R. Michael Beatty
Directed by Aaron Nichols.
The characters include (actors in the premiere production in parentheses):
1. Elijah Hastings Powell (Marlon Burnley): The play's narrator. A Union Army soldier of the 1st Michigan Colored Infantry Regiment, he rose to the level of Sergeant. After the war he became a barber in Mishawaka.
2. Frank Baldwin (Tristan Conner): Son of Silas and Jane, Notre Dame student and soldier in the Union Army, he rose to level of Second Lieutenant.
3. Jane Gephart Baldwin (Jill Flora Hillman): Mother of Frank and Elizabeth and wife of Silas. She lost two of her three children as a result of the Civil War.
4. Silas Baldwin (Greg Melton): Elkhart Businessman. He was responsible for the building of the Elkhart Civil War Memorial. He lost two of his three children as a result of the Civil War.
5. Elizabeth Baldwin Beardsley (Tess Gunty): Daughter of Silas and Jane, and creator of Ruthmere.
6. Schuyler Colfax, Jr. (Brad Mazick): Local newspaper owner, member of U.S. Congress during the Civil War, and U.S. Vice President after the war.
7. William Corby, CSC (Bill Svelmoe): Held several positions with his order; twice president of the University of Notre Dame; was a Chaplin in the Union Army.
8. Mother Angela Gillespie, CSC (April Sellers): The first American to head Saint Mary's Academy (now St. Mary’s College). Under her direction the school moved from Michigan to its present site in 1855. In addition, it has been said that two women of the nineteenth century stand out because of their services in time of war and their contribution to modern nursing. They were Florence Nightingale and Mother Angela.
9. Grace Goodwin (Libby Unruh): A woman from the south who survives as a widow in the north after the Civil War.
10. Van Greenwood (Rich Isacson): Union Army soldier, farmer. Saw heavy action throughout his three years in the Union Army. Family property (off State Road 23 near Granger, Indiana) is still owned by family descendants.
11. Alice Owens (Michelle Miller): Deaf, Alice came to St. Mary’s as a student and spent her life working there. She is one of the few nonreligious buried on the campus. She had to survive additional challenges during this time period.
The original production crew:
Stage Manager Missy Weirich
Original Music Roy Bronkema
Musicians Roy Bronkema, Melissa Greene, Kyle Miller
Projection Design Simon Moses
Lighting Design Jeremy Unruh
Audio Design Jeremy Unruh
Costume Design Donald Eugene Willman
Asst. Costume Design Carol Shamory
Properties Mistress Teri Szynski