Pro-Art Presents “Freedom Riders”

Big Stone Gap, VAFreedom Riders is the latest addition to the canon of American History plays by Mad River Theater Works. The production explores the valiant and courageous personalities behind one of the most critical chapters in the history of the civil rights movement. The Pro-Art Association, in partnership with the Appalachian African American Cultural Center and UVA Wise, welcomes the ensemble on Friday, February 25th at 7:30 PM in the Union High Auditorium in Big Stone Gap.

The play demonstrates the importance of working together to affect change and specifically how non-violent protest was used to combat the cruelties of segregation. Set in 1961, fifteen years after the Supreme Court outlawed segregation, bus lines and cities throughout the south continued to enforce a rigid system separating black and white citizens. The freedom riders, both black and white Americans, decided to travel together on buses that crossed state lines, purposefully disregarding the hateful segregation practices that were commonplace. The unforgettable heroes and the facts behind the important events portrayed in Freedom Riders are essential to a full understanding of the civil rights era and American history.

Mad River Theater Works is an acclaimed touring ensemble that creates vibrant and evocative plays with music for families and young audiences, based on American history and folklore. Founded in 1978, Mad River presents original productions that explore traditional stories in a unique and innovative style. ​General admission tickets are $15 at the door, and all children and students are free to attend. Pro-Art season tickets will be honored for this performance. Season tickets can be purchased at,

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