What Price Freedom?

Stories of the Underground Railroad

The Magic of the Lantern tells the Tale

The story that is the Underground Railroad comes alive with this enlightening performance. The Showman sets the stage with images, narration and music… Taking the audience through the beginning of Slavery, its effect and the horrors it caused. Then witness the extraordinary re-creation of one of our local heroes and hear first-hand the trials, joys and emotional tales of the enslaved. And then concluding with a vibrant question and answer period to find out even more about the Magic Lantern and our Local Hero. Truly a memorable experience not to be missed.

The Magic of the Lantern Tells the Tale

The story that is the Underground Railroad comes alive with this enlightening performance. The Showman sets the stage with images, narration and music… Taking the audience through the beginning of Slavery, its effect and the horrors it caused. Then witness the extraordinary re-creation of one of our local heroes and hear first-hand the trials, joys and emotional tales of the enslaved. And then concluding with a vibrant question and answer period to find out even more about the Magic Lantern and our Local Hero. Truly a memorable experience not to be missed.

More on the Magic Lantern Shows

Magic Lantern performances were the most popular form of entertainment in America in the late 19th Century, before there were movies. A beautiful projection device, called a Magic Lantern, would bring old and new stories to the public. Coupled with original antique pictures hand-painted on glass combined with widely-recognized stories, the Showman would interact with his audience, bringing multiple characters and voices to life…literally the beginning of modern motion pictures. In 1895, there were over 30,000 lantern showmen in the United States alone, giving well over 75,000 performances a year.

The shows continued to grow with the invention of new “special effects” such as slides using water, moving slides and more. Several of these effects are actually used in our productions.

Our Magic Lantern dates to the year 1890 and was originally powered by “limelight”… a combination of Hydrogen and Oxygen gasses lit to heat a lump of limestone. This created a brilliant light that would be used to project the images. Now we use the much safer electrical lighting for our lantern.

Utilizing this incredible Magic Lantern as well as original images from the 1800’s, our modern take on this amazing and long-forgotten performance will amaze and enthrall everyone. Our professional Showman will lead you on an unforgettable experience not to be missed.

The Underground Railroad Experience is also available by reservation for groups.