Summer Kennedy, from left, Jackson Pollock and Brandon Derk prepare for the production weekend production. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchie/kritchie@madisoncourier.com)
Summer Kennedy, from left, Jackson Pollock and Brandon Derk prepare for the production weekend production. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchie/kritchie@madisoncourier.com)
Hanover College's The Rivers Institute: Traveling Theatre group will present "Nothing Stops This Train," at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at Eleutherian College.

The play tells the story of John and Sarah Tibbets and a slave named Georgina, who help other slaves escape into freedom through the Underground Railroad. The play highlights Eleutherian College as the first college in Indiana to admit students regardless of race or gender.

The play, which features old slave songs like "Follow the Drinking Gourd," demonstrates the hardships and dangers on both sides of the Underground Railroad.

Christopher Thomasson directed the Terence A. Boyle play. Thomasson is an assistant artistic director of the Boomerang Theatre Company in New York.

Boyle, a Northern Ireland native, grew up in the late 1960s. He said the civil rights movement in America had an influence on the Irish Catholic civil rights movement in Ireland.

"There's a very strong connection between the black civil rights movement and the Irish Catholic civil rights movement in Ireland in the '60s," he said. "When I came down here in southern Indiana and saw some of the Underground Railroad stops you have, you have these very liberal-minded Christians, these people were really the roots of the civil rights movement. I was very taken by that. That these people put their lives on the line for other people's freedom."

Boyle led a trip to Ireland for Hanover College students where he formed a relationship with The Rivers Institute.

Boyle teaches Anglo-Irish literature and exploring drama at Loyola University in Chicago. "Nothing Stops This Train" is his sixth play.

The traveling show company is comprised of Hanover College students Brandon Derk, Summer Kennedy, Felisha Lovett, Dakota McCoy, Nichole Marquez, Jackson Pollock and Gray Schierholt.

The students worked on the play through the college's spring semester. The 90-minute play will be on the road from June 11 through Aug. 11, and includes 17 productions across Indiana, Illinois and Ohio.

The cast includes Gary Schierholt as auctioneer; Jackson Pollock as Sarah's father; Felisha Lovett as Georgina; Dakota McCoy as John Tibbets; Brandon Derk as Lyman Hoyt; and Summer Kennedy as Sarah Tibbets. Nichole Marquez is the stage manager.

Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for children. They are available at the door on a first come, first served basis. For more information on the college visit www.eleutheriancollege.com or call (812) 866-7291.