Artists in Schools Directory
Mary J. Kelly wrote 'Midnight Train: Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad," using the voice of Harriet Tubman. The show takes participants on a journey back into slavery time, bringing to life the struggle for freedom. Throughout Harriet's story students learn and understand the hardship of enslaved Africans. Mary's portrayal of Harriet's story incorporates characterizations, song, movement and audience participation that create a realistic view of being enslaved. During the 45-minute presentation, Harriet asks students questions to engage them in participation. There is Q&A after the performance. Mary states, "I felt called to put my energy into writing a script to inspire audiences to learn about and rethink the issue of slavery. In 2020 Harriet Tubman will be the first African-American and woman to appear on the $20 bill. Many of our youth don't know Harriet Tubman's story and her contributions to our nation allowing all its citizens the privileges held in the constitution."
Mary J. Kelly is a masterful storyteller, teaching artist and published playwright, and has performed for over 30 years in schools, colleges, businesses and organizations. She has a MFA in theatre/communications and a BFA in theatre education from Arizona State University-Tempe. She is the executive director of the Association of Florida Teaching Artists, Inc., an association of professional artists who offer educational instruction to young people and the community to develop and enhance educational experiences through the arts. Mary is an artist on the Florida State Touring Roster, a Wolf Trap Teaching Artist and an Arts Integration/Drama Specialist. She believes we share similar joys and tears - that oneness comes through in our stories.