The Irondale Ensemble Project is as close as we come these days to the Elizabethan acting companies that once presented Shakespeare’s plays to the Earl of Leicester, Sir Francis Drake and the Virgin Queen of England. ...What is on offer is the miracle of the word made flesh. I wish you joy in it.” —Lewis Lapham, editor of Lapham’s Quarterly
Join the Irondale Mailing List for news, updates and special offers!

Irondale Ensemble Project & American Opera Projects present

Lines of Freedom

Color Between the Lines & Harriet Tubman: When I Crossed That Line to Freedom
In repertory: works of musical theater that pay tribute to the heroes who fought for the end of slavery.                8 Performances ONLY!

February 20-March 1

Tickets $25 | Senior/Students $15 | Matinees $15
Buy Tickets
Freedom Package
- See both shows for $40
Freedom Matinee Package - See both matinees for $25

With two original shows, Irondale Ensemble Project and American Opera Projects partner for the Lines of Freedom Festival to celebrate the contributions and achievements of the African American community.

Color Between the Lines - IEP
February 20, 22, 28 at 7:30PM
March 1 at 3PM

The World Premier
Harriet Tubman: When I Crossed That Line to Freedom - AOP
February 21, 27 at 7:30PM
February 22 at 3PM
March 1 at 7:30PM

Color Between the Lines is set in the tumultuous decade prior to the Civil War and explores the tension between Brooklyn’s phenomenal growth during the nineteenth century due to its intricate ties to slavery, and the moral imperative towards anti-slavery activism by a small group of residents. This was a time in Brooklyn’s history when free African-Americans charted a course of self-determination in order to address the everyday injustices of racism, threats of illegal kidnapping, voter discrimination, and a profound lack of legal and political equality. It was also a time when ordinary men and women, black and white, became abolitionists in order to end slavery even as Brooklyn’s wealth depended on the Southern economy. With original songs and music, COLOR BETWEEN THE LINES tells new stories about familiar abolitionists and recovers activists who have been underrepresented by mainstream narratives. Ultimately, the play explores American notions of freedom and engages with the ongoing debates of how we define freedom today.

Harriet Tubman: When I Crossed That Line to FreedomFreedom is a two-act folk opera created by Nigerian-American composer Nkeiru Okoye that tells of how a young girl born in slavery, becomes Harriet Tubman, the legendary Underground Railroad conductor. This important chapter of American history is portrayed in the context of Tubman’s tight-knit family of lively characters and two sisters vowing that nothing but death will separate them, despite the slavery threatening to tear them apart. Okoye takes audiences on a veritable tour of early African-American music with a score that incorporates gospel spirituals, ragtime, early blues, minstrel songs, work songs, call and responses, and field hollers.

Harriet Tubman and Color Between the Lines are both supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Harriet Tubman is supported by a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Art Works.

In Pursuit of Freedom

In Pursuit of Freedom, a collaboration between Brooklyn Historical Society, Irondale Ensemble Project and Weeksville Heritage Center, is the first public history project to explore abolition and the anti-slavery movement in Brooklyn. For more information go to

In Pursuit of Freedom is funded by the U.S. Department of Education Underground Railroad Educational and Cultural (URR) Program; Mayor Michael Bloomberg; the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; the New York City Economic Development Corporation; the National Endowment for the Humanities; and the Nathan Cummings Foundation, with additional funds provided by The Bay and Paul Foundations, New York Community Trust, and Verizon Foundation.