Length: 120 minutes.
Directed by: TBA
Story by: Ted Reinert, William D. Brohn, Jack Wadell
Screenplay by: Ted Reinert,,
Music & Orchestrations by:William D. Brohn
The Background: The American Civil War and its unsung hero
The American Civil War was the bloodiest and saddest war in American history. But like any other war this one also had its heroes. Our tale is about one of them: John W. Jones, a “negro” escaped from slavery, who helped more than 800 slaves escape to Canada. As sexton of Woodlawn Cemetery, he then personally buried each of the 2,988 Confederate soldiers who died in Elmira NY’s prison camp: his is the only Civil War graveyard without one unmarked grave.
Operatic bass Jack Waddell was so deeply touched by Jones’s account that he felt he had to make it into a musical drama. O! Freedom!, a stunning show featuring traditional spirituals in haunting new a capella arrangements for soloist and choir composed by Tony Award winner William David Brohn and Ted Reinert, premiered in Elmira in 1998. It was a tremendous success. Since then the show has been performed in several other cities, always receiving standing ovations.
Logline: MaXaM Productions will tell the rich and detailed story of John W. Jones within a 120-minute docudrama that blends the traditional elements of documentaries (narration, interviews, historical reenactments) with a stirring musical drama.
Experts and historians will introduce to the audience the character and the social and historical background of 19th century America. Slave conditions and the events that caused the Civil War will be briefly summarized.
Then it will be John himself (played by Jack Waddell) who tells his story. Footage of the musical will be juxtaposed with footage of Loudon County Virginia and Elmira NY, where reenactments of memorable moments of Jones’ life and a country at war with itself will take place.
O! Freedom! Will be an inspiring and rousing tribute to an unsung American Hero.