Free performances to focus on abolitionists

Guests of the Hadley Fund will be able to enjoy a concert or a one-act play this weekend, both of which receive their inspiration from the lives of an abolitionist couple.


Terry Leonino (left) and Greg Artzner will perform 'Sword in the Spirit,' a play based on the lives of abolitionists Mary and John Brown, on Sunday, Jan. 17, at 2 p.m., in Kennett Square.

On Saturday, Jan. 16, starting at 7 p.m., Magpie Music, the duo of Terry Leonino and Greg Artzner, will perform a concert based on the lives of Mary and John Brown. On Sunday, Jan. 17, at 2 p.m., Leonine and Artzner will use their voices in a different way, performing “Sword of the Spirit.” The play draws its story from letters written by the Browns, according to a Hadley press release.

Both performances will take place at Kennett Friends Meeting, 125 W. Sickle St., Kennett Square. After the play, the artists will engage the audience in discussion.

“Sword of the Spirit” begins with John Brown in jail, where h has spent the last 40 days. During this time he has received many visitors, given interviews, and composed over 100 letters to acquaintances, friends and family members, including his wife. As the play opens, John Brown addresses the audience in the last “interview” he has agreed to give. He tells them his story, expounding on his life, his beliefs, and what he considers his God-given mission to destroy the evil of slavery, the release said.

From another part of the stage, his wife writes to him from Lucretia Mott’s home, where she has stopped on her journey to see him one last time. She also addresses the audience directly, recounting her life with John and her relationship to “Mrs. Mott.” The play enables the audience to witness the story of the famed radical abolitionist before he is taken to the gallows, the release said.

For more than 50 years, the Hadley Fund has been bringing free lectures and performances to the region. The program started in 1962 when Hal Holbrook presented “A Night with Mark Twain.” Other performers have included Martin Luther King Jr., Linus Pauling, Julius Erving, Marian Anderson, Alex Haley, Ogden Nash and Gloria Steinem.

All Hadley Fund events are free and open to the public. For more information, call 610-444-1855 or visit Event registration is available at For more information about Magpie Music, visit



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