Liberty Calls!

A Musical for Our Semiquincentennial United States 250th Celebration.

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Script  –  Score  –  Lyrics

By
Ruth Tyndall Baker

The Patriots — including Sam and John Adams, Revere, and Hancock — are planning their protest against taxes in Edward Wilkins’ tavern. Tippsie Prattle is singing, “Do you remember the night when we dumped all the tea?” They decide to help British deserters and do even more; but when the English Major arrives, the Patriots’ plans are crushed. Sarah Wilkins’ love for the Lieutenant is squashed, and Wilkins’ young son is beaten for carrying messages. As troops pound on the tavern door, Wilkins flees for his life as the Patriots rally, singing, “We shall build a nation, call it all our own!”

Overview of Characters

The Wilkins family runs the tavern where the Patriots meet and consists of Edward and Elizabeth, their two daughters Sarah and Abigail, and their young son Nathan.

The Patriots include John and Sam Adams, Revere and Hancock: the colorful characters of Prattle, a has-been frontier man who loves his rum, and Parson, who falls in love with Sarah but who has not a chance against the British Lt. Charles Duncan.

Image depicting the characgter overview.

The British billet at Edward’s tavern, and Major Pitcairn tells Edward how it will be now that he’s arrived. Lt. Charles Duncan is smitten by Sarah Wilkins.

The Wilkins family is caught up in the struggle against England and pays a high price for acting when Liberty calls.

Act I: iii
“We must stir the very souls of men; for if we fail to do this, our inalienable rights as well as our property are lost.”
— Sam Adams

Message from the Playwright

Playwright image of couple.

It is a joy to bring to you a story about the men and women who were caught up in the colonies’ struggle to survive the control of the Mother Country. And it is a surprise to me how my ability to do so came about. My theater experience started when, at the age of ten, I was so excited about Christmas coming that I decided to act out “T’was the Night Before Christmas” in our garage. I don’t know if it got a good review or not from the neighborhood kids—but I loved doing it.

I also remember having my dolls talk to each other. Writing dialogue came naturally to me. So it happened that I became a playwright, writing scripts with historical background, always wondering what it would be like to live in another time, another place.

When I was in sixth grade, a neighbor moved away and left a broken down piano to us, which needed to be put to use, according to my mother. She forced me to take one year of piano, and I found I loved it. Thus, my musical Libery Calls! was written especially for the SemiquinCentennial.

Theater is a great way to remind ourselves of our country’s roots and to celebrate our system of government. Please check out my OTHER WORKS, which also reflect the unique challenges and fabric of our country—including stories about the Civil War, the Burmese refugee immigration, racial turmoil, and Al Capone. Let’s celebrate our country’s 250th year at the theater. I’d love to see your production!

— Ruth

Biography

Ruth Tyndall Baker attended Indiana University, B.A. and M.A.T., and has taught at various levels, including creative writing at Purdue Fort Wayne. Working with students at Chote Rosemary-Hall Prep School as Playwright-in-Residence was a perfect fit for her. Although author of the memoir A Desert Surprise (Amazon) about her hiking alone in Israel for five weeks in search of a play (Moshe), Baker is best known for her scripts. She loves writing about her Indiana roots but is also compelled to write about social and historical events.

Half a World Away, commissioned by Barter Theater, Virginia, deals with both her home town and a social situation: the influx of Burmese refugees to Fort Wayne. Nominated for the Susan Smith Blackburn International Prize, it is the story of a father-son relationship struggling to survive in a new culture with only Grandma Cho-Cho holding them together.

Biography image during play.

Other recent credits include Fort Wayne Civic Theater’s 1st place winner Althea’s Well about domestic abuse. Home Fires OUT! produced at St. Francis University reflects the random violence of our society and the intimate relationship of a mother with her Traumatic Brain Injured adult son. Produced at FW Purdue University, Women Unbound, another Indiana roots script, concerns the Hamilton family. Edith, from Fort Wayne and world-famous for her translation of Greek Myths, had a secret life with a younger student. The research for this play led Baker to writing The Secret Life of Edith Hamilton, a novel about the Hamilton sisters.

Writing Awards include grants from the Indiana Arts Commission, Arts United, and the Eli Lilly Creative Writing Fellowship.

Baker is seldom away from her desk except to enjoy her family—son and daughter plus five grandchildren and her two cats, Penny and Beau, who hope she is writing a play about them. Member Dramatist Guild, TCG, and AAUW.

Second biography image during play.

Artistic Statement

While I have written in the past about my midwestern roots focusing on family, I currently am fascinated with researching and finding stories in other cultures. The issues are universal in all cultures and very powerful: love, hate, anger, forgiveness, regret, joy, birth and re-birth. I engross myself in the script and rely upon directors and designers—costume, lighting, sound, set designers—to create the stage pictures in a collaborative way. I generally prefer minimal props and set designs although each script has its own needs. I strive for meaningful content, issues relevant today even though the story may be set in the past; and I aim to create that powerful, unforgettable moment at curtain.

Artistic statement image during play.

Credits

Published
Heartland Plays:  On Bethel Road — a Christmas Story.
Smith & Kraus:  Monologues
Amazon:  A Desert Surprise.   Book re: travel in Israel.
Awards
Half A World Away re: Burmese refugees in Indiana
Nominated for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize
Fort Wayne Civic Theater: Althea’s Well
  Papillons
  Knitters’ Row
Playwrights First Finalist: Papillons
Best Drama Basile Award: Papillons
James Sherman Award: Papillons
Panowski Finalist Award: Papillons
Eli Lilly Grant: Moshe
IAC Grant: Rapture
Chair
2007, 2008 IN Works! Indiana Conference
Half a World Away playwright image

Productions

Fort Wayne Civic, IN Althea’s Well
Barter Theater, Abingdon, VA Half a World Away
Looking Glass, NY
Ancient Curse of Druid
The White Whale
Inside the 309
Lincoln Square Theater, Chicago Guggenheim
Chicago Dramatists Three One Acts
Dark Horse Theater, Nashville Singles W/O Sex Club
University of Indianapolis Separate Scripts
Contemporary Theater, Louisville Moshe
Paul Mellon Arts Center, Wallingford Tuesdays Child
Houston Playhouse Parlor Game
Webster Groves Theater, St. Louis
Stones
Parlor Game
Bloomington Playwrights Project The White Whale
Purdue FW Women Unbound
St. Francis University, FW Home Fires OUT!
allforOne, FW On Bethel Road (Xmas)

Reading/Workshops

Richmond Shepard Theatre, NY Knitters Row
The Playsmiths, NY Home Fires OUT!
Fourth Presbyterian Church, Chicago A Christmas Key
The Barrow Group, NY Guggenheim
Wheeler Arts Center, Indianapolis Al Capone & Me
Fine Arts Festival, Auburn, IN Papillons
Indiana Theater Conference Moshe
Muncie IAC Papillons
The Producers Club Rapture
T. Schreiber Studio On This Mountain
Abingdon Theater Papillons
Depauw University Rapture
Timber Lake Writers Colony Papillons

Reviews

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Step into Liberty Calls! where Patriots unite against unjust taxes in Edward Wilkins’ tavern. Witness the chaos as plans unravel and tensions escalate. Click the button below and dive into this exciting tale.

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