News - Theater

Posted on: February 1, 2018

Freedom Riders: The Civil Rights Musical In Concert on Feb 22, 2018 at 7:30 pm at Temecula’s Theater


In 1961, 400 ordinary people put their lives on the line to bring attention to the injustice of segregation in an action that would show the world an image of the ‘burning bus America’ whose existence Americans wanted to ignore.

Two years ago a small group of people gathered around a table at The Barn Stage Company in Old Town Temecula and spent hours listening and reading the first draft of a brand new musical that had just been finished and never heard or seen before creating FREEDOM RIDERS: The Civil Rights Musical. That same year, the musical won the BETA Award from the New York Musical Festival (NYMF) and in 2017, the musical by Executive Director Dan Markley, went on to win the NYMF Award for Outstanding Music and the Award for Social Relevance and Impact.

City of Temecula Mayor Matt Rahn states, “We are appreciative of the fact that this socially important and vibrantly entertaining musical emerged from the wealth of talent right here in Temecula, and are very pleased to celebrate Black History Month with this concert version of the show.”

FREEDOM RIDERS: The Civil Rights Musical tells the story of the activists who boldly challenged the legality and optics of the Jim Crow South by riding buses in mixed groups.  It features civil rights icons John Lewis and Duane Nash, famed newspaper editor John Siegenthaler, and the courageous, diverse riders of the Civil Rights Movement.  FREEDOM RIDERS is a soaring portrait of the fearless voices who used non-violent direct action to initiate change.

FREEDOM RIDERS returns to Temecula in partnership with The Barn Stage Company at Old Town Temecula Community Theater.  This concert event will feature the entire score of the musical.  In addition to many local San Diego actors, other guest artists will also take the stage including Anthony Chatmon II (Touring: Into The Woods, Book of Mormon) who appeared in the 2017 New York Musical Festival (NYMF) production of FREEDOM RIDERS as one of the lead characters, John Lewis. Mr. Chatmon II will be joined on stage with another NYMF 2017 production cast mate, Meagan Flint, who played Genevieve Hughes and will be returning to sing for the role of Diane Nash. The show’s creators, film director/producer Richard Allen (Book/Music & Lyrics) and music producer/songwriter Taran Gray (Music & Lyrics), will also be in attendance at the show.

The Temecula Valley Museum proudly presents this powerful new musical production for one night only on Thursday, February 22, 2018 at 7:30 pm at the Old Town Temecula Community Theater (42051 Main Street) in Old Town Temecula in honor of Black History Month.  Tickets are available for purchase online at or at the Old Town Temecula Theater Ticket Office.  For Ticket Office hours, please contact the Old Town Temecula Community Theater at 1.866.OLD.TOWN (1.866.653.8696).


The New York Musical Festival (NYMF) ensures the future vitality of musical theater by nurturing the creation, production, and public presentation of stylistically, thematically, and culturally diverse new musicals. The premier musical theater event in the world, the Festival presents productions each summer in the heart of New York City's Theater District, along with an array of readings, concerts, and other special events.  For more information, please visit


The mission of The Barn Stage Company is to preserve, strengthen, and advance Musical Theater as a vital social and cultural platform by creating theatrical experiences of the highest professional standards.  As both a laboratory for theatrical exploration and a producer of plays that expand the boundaries of theatrical form, The Barn Stage Company supports projects that are aesthetically, thematically, and methodologically diverse.  With their youthful spirit and eclectic, artist-driven approach, The Barn Stage Company provides an environment for the growth and education of theatre professionals, audiences, and the Temecula Valley community at large.  For more information, please visit

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