The story of slavery, is the history of inhumanity.
The story of a slave, his story is that of one man.
THE MAN OF HUMANITY!
A Powerful Musical Drama
Based on the novel
Uncle Tom’s Cabin
By Harriet Beecher Stowe
An original concept
Book, Music and Lyrics
By Lorenzo Cherin
Thank you for visiting TOM’S CABIN-THE MAN OF HUMANITY! If you are thinking of getting involved with the development of this new musical work, contact details can be found at the conclusion of this page. Explore and find out more.
Think Les Miserables, or Jesus Christ Superstar, via Show Boat! The best of the West End and Broadway tradition, in the style of its genre, with a timeless and timely subject, as the substance of it’s content.
Based on the most influential work of fiction of it’s time, possibly of all time, retold for today. When Abraham Lincoln, as President of the United States, during the American Civil War, met Harriet Beecher Stowe, it is said that his greeting was, “So this is the little lady, who wrote the book, that started this great war !”
So important was the novel by Stowe, that it changed the view of so many people, prompting them to oppose slavery and support it’s abolition. But such was the appeal of the story that she wrote and the characters that she created, other forces were very soon at work. Opposition to her cause, coupled with exploitation of her work, led to innumerable stage adaptations in her time, both truncated at worst, exaggerated at best. These, “Tom Shows,” were a travesty. Racists and populists began to traduce and distort a book and it’s characters. Tom, a strong, heroic and brave man in his middle age, was reduced to a shuffling, obedient, old yes man. The central figure in that once much loved tale, became, as a result, for a later generation and those thereafter, the byword of compliance and subservience. If only people could realise, that the hero Tom, of the original depiction by the author, risked his life to save those of his fellow slaves !
Now the story can be told again, yet like never before. In the form that best expresses it, in an era that so needs it. If we thought that inhumanity and desperation, inequality and division, were no more, we were wrong. Racism, prejudice, and their antithesis, harmony, unity, are forces to be reckoned with. And by characters we can identify with. In an adaptation setting, of a modern slavery museum, or exhibition, which comes to life, in front of the visitors, and viewers, here is a story for all time and our time!
The story of Tom the slave, is that of a genuine hero, a man’s journey, through enduring suffering and overcoming evil, notably that of the slave owner and master, Simon Legree. It is the story of love, of the runaway slaves, Eliza and George, for each other, for freedom, and most importantly, for their child, for the chance for him to be free. It is a story for all ages, as can be seen in the appeal of the memorable characters, the young Topsy, and Little Eva. This story is one of great adventure, of real feeling, it is epic and heartwarming.
The extent of the effect, the work of Harriet Beecher Stowe had, was international. When she arrived in England, at Liverpool Dock, she was astonished to see the crowds of people, men, women and children, who attended to cheer and glimpse their much loved author. There, in Liverpool, as on many of her visits to different cities and communities to promote the abolition of slavery, it was Harriet Beecher Stowe, the campaigner, who spoke to and connected with the public, just as she had as an author. And this connects with the effect the work of others had on her, as well as her effect on others.
Josiah Henson, the fugitive slave, from Maryland, who went on to create a community of freed slaves in Canada, was a real life inspiration for this story. His journey went from slavery, to oratory, telling the story of his life, on paper and in person. He wrote an autobiography that included details of the support he received from people like the London and Nottingham based businessman, philanthropist, and later Liberal mp, Samuel Morley. This was the influential role that abolitionists played .
That same story of Josiah Henson, was one of the influences that inspired Harriet Beecher Stowe, who, after her great success with her novel, added an introduction to a later edition of Henson’s book.
Solomon Northup, the subject and central character, who wrote, and is depicted in, Twelve Years A Slave, himself a contemporary of that era, dedicated his original book, his own story, to Harriet Beecher Stowe.
The great Frederick Douglass, former slave as well as later a leader in the struggle to end slavery, wrote his own autobiography which became a bestseller. He communicated his own experiences as an escaping slave, with Harriet Beecher Stowe, in the visits and letters they shared as they became friends.
Alex Hailey, the writer and creator of Roots, the most beloved story of slavery, in modern times, admired and understood, the appeal and power, of the story written by Harriet Beecher Stowe.
Leo Tolstoy, the author of his own great novel War and Peace, called the novel by Harriet Beecher Stowe, “one of the greatest productions of the human mind.”
Such is the importance of this work, and it’s potential, to become a new and different sort of production!
A powerful musical drama.
An original concept.
With the interest of contacts already gained, and being sort yet, this exciting project is at the early stages of development. Music and lyrics are in the process of being almost fully completed, the book, as libretto, script, or screenplay, is being adapted. At this point, is where this project, needs to make new friends. Please, explore this site and see it unfold, help make it happen, support it and or invest in it, be a part of it. This project can do for this story of heroism and villainy, of good vs evil, what the great musicals, Les Miserables and Jesus Christ Superstar, did for those. More than most musicals or plays, it provides very broad scope for diversity, in casting of roles, and influencing culture more widely. This is so much more than a “Tom Show.” It speaks to our humanity. And sings of it, too.
It is “TOM’S CABIN-THE MAN OF HUMANITY!”
The creator of this new work has been inspired by the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and President Nelson Mandela. “TOM’S CABIN-THE MAN OF HUMANITY! A Powerful Musical Drama,” honours their memory.
By Lorenzo Cherin copyright. 2019