A troubled country, a courageous heart, and the struggle for freedom. In May 1862, Robert Smalls, a slave and ship’s pilot in Charleston, South Carolina, crafts a daring plan to steal the steamship Planter and deliver it, along with, the crew and their families to the Union blockade. After risking his life to escape slavery, Robert faces an even more difficult challenge: convincing Abraham Lincoln to enlist black troops. Based on a true story, Steering to Freedom tells the powerful and inspirational story of a young man who becomes the first black captain of a US military ship, while struggling to navigate a path to freedom for himself, his family, and his people.
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Patrick Gabridge is an award-winning playwright, novelist, and screenwriter. His full-length plays include Flight, Distant Neighbors, Lab Rats, Constant State of Panic, and Blinders, and have been staged by theaters across the country. His passion for history extends to the stage, and his historical plays include work about the creation of the English Bible (Fire on Earth), the astronomers Kepler and Tycho (Reading the Mind of God), a volcanic eruption on Martinique (The Prisoner of St. Pierre), 19th century Boston publisher Daniel Sharp Ford (None But the Best), and the 1770 Boston Massacre (Blood on the Snow).
Patrick has been a Playwriting Fellow with the Huntington Theatre Company and with New Repertory. Recent commissions include plays and musicals for In Good Company, The Bostonian Society, Central Square Theatre, and Tumblehome Learning. His short plays are published by Playscripts, Brooklyn Publishers, Heuer, Smith & Kraus, and YouthPlays, and have received more than a thousand productions from theatres and schools around the world.
His other novels include Tornado Siren and Moving [a life in boxes]. His work for radio has been broadcast by NPR, Shoestring Radio Theatre, Playing on Air, and Icebox Radio Theatre.
Patrick has a habit of starting things: he helped start Bostonís Rhombus writersí group, the Chameleon Stage theatre company in Denver, the Bare Bones Theatre company in New York, the publication Market InSight… for Playwrights, and the on-line Playwrightsí Submission Binge. Heís also a member of the Dramatists Guild, StageSource, and a board member of the Theatre Community Benevolent Fund. He is currently the co-founder and coordinator of the New England New Play Alliance and is actively involved with the Boston theater scene.
Patrick has received numerous awards for work, including fellowships from the Colorado Council on the Arts and the Massachusetts Cultural Commission. For more information visit Patrick Gabridge’s website, or on his blog, The Writing Life x3.
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Unshelfish is proud to be included in the tour for Patrick Gabridge’s Steering to Freedom. Be sure to click on the HFVBT banner to check out the entire tour schedule.