INSPIRE FREEDOM CELEBRATION WEEKEND
Inspire Freedom: The Story
In 2004, producer Jeremiah Enna and choreographers Mona Storling-Enna and Tobin James gathered a team to create what would become an annual event in Kansas City and the signature work of Storling Dance Theater. Along with the Ennas, composer Jay Pfefier and producer Kipton Blue joined the team to craft a production that would have historic integrity and contemporary relevance.
Over the next four years original music was composed and recorded, over 90 costumes were designed, hand dyed and fitted, and the choreography was set on a cast of over 50. Courtney Kierl-Bourman and Marc Wayne joined Tobin as principals together with company members Tawny Clement, Anne Wayne, Alexandra Wilson, Jillian Sivewright and Laura Fiatte. Guest artists included Christiane Lisabe, Judi Jones, Micah Clement, Lorna Jarrett and special guest soloist, Yo Landa Franklin. A cast of over 50 assembled from every corner of Kansas City and in 2008, Underground premiered at the Lyric Theater of Kansas City. Chosen as one of the top performances that year and eventually one of the Top 10 of the Decade, Underground opened to rave reviews. "Some of the best dance theater ever to grace a Kansas City stage," wrote Paul Horsley at the Kansas City Star. Many of the cast members have been in the show since the beginning and continue to shape its success. To see a listing of local artists who have participated in the performance over the years, CLICK HERE.
Since the original staging, over 14,000 students have attended the school-day shows and another 10,000+ have flocked to the theater to catch this once-a-year event in Kansas City. Deep bonds and broad community have been built through the creation, rehearsing, and production of this performance that seeks to honor the lives lost to slavery and emulate those that helped build a road to freedom. UNDERGROUND is an inspiring and joyful experience because of the heroism of those who resisted slavery and responded to God's call of freedom.
2014 will mark the 7th annual performance of UNDERGROUND, bringing about the INSPIRE FREEDOM BLACK HISTORY/AMERICAN HISTORY CELEBRATION WEEKEND. Each year, we will seek to present a weekend in February with a wide variety of events, gatherings, performances, and experiences that remind us of the greatest figures in our American history, the most noble ideas that compel our country forward, and the bonds that make us one nation under God.
Interested in learning more?
Mona Störling-Enna & Tobin James