Two years in the making, challenged by COVID-19 and actor availability, the film crew of ABOLITION wrapped shooting on October 3, 2021. Shot on location throughout Tuolumne County CA, cinematographer John C. Brown and Duende’s Artistic Director Tom Maguire recreated the pre-Civil War settings that provide the backdrop to this stunning drama. The original two-man cast was expanded to over 20 actors (and their horses) in support of the lead characters played by Tom Maguire (John Brown), Torrey Linder (young Frederick Douglass) and Dwight Mahabir (old Frederick Douglass).
ABOLITION tells the story of two friends, their accomplishments and their conflicts, during the tumultuous decade leading up to the Civil War. One of the friends is John Brown – he whose “body lies a-mouldering in the grave” – who led the raid on Harper’s Ferry, Virginia, a major stepping stone toward the War. The other is Frederick Douglass who was born a slave in Maryland, escaped to freedom at age 20, and became an important intellectual, journalist, political maven, and arguably the greatest American orator of the Nineteenth Century. The bond and the strife between these two men is explored in an intimate re-imagination of this crucial era in our fraught history.Rick Foster, Playwright
Having brought the project this far is an extraordinary achievement. The idea of a film version of ABOLITION for distribution on PBS was born after successful stage runs in Sonora (2018) and Sacramento (2019). Rick Foster began the arduous process of adapting the work to a screenplay and John C. Brown was brought in as the consulting cinematographer. Due to the pandemic, the project was stopped and restarted twice before everything finally came together in the Fall of 2021. While not yet a finished film, we are ready to share some early previews, and to ask for your help in its completion.
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Duende’s many friends and supporters have brought us far along in this ambitious project. Now, we need your help to get across the finish line. Our goal is to raise $10,000 to offer a broadcast-ready film to NETA (National Educational Telecommunications Association) for distribution on PBS. Among the many steps to completion are:
- Create a rough cut of the film by early 2022
- Create a final cut, including music scoring, by spring or early summer
- Working with our contacts at KVIE Sacramento, present final cut to NETA
- Acquire “Errors and Omissions” insurance
- Pay for satellite upload
You can play a key role in bringing this moving and timely drama to a mass audience through your generous donation. Your support is deeply appreciated.
Duende Drama & Literature, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. Donations may be tax deductible and are processed securely through PayPal.