The Trial of the Catonsville Nine by Daniel Berrigan



I had the PRIVILEGE of photographing an amazing production of Daniel Berrigan’s The Trial of the Catonsville Nine.

{Author, Daniel Berrigan, played by Graham Smyth}


The mainstage at CCBC Catonsville, led by well known Baltimore actor and director, F. Scott Black,  is a place where I am always challenged. The recent production of Daniel Berrigan’s, The Trial of the Catonsville Nine was no exception.  What made director, Carl Freundel’s production even more riveting was the integration of original photo files and video depicting this civil demonstration. 
 On May 17, 1968, at the climax of the Vietnam conflict, nine men and women entered the Selective Service office in Catonsville, Maryland.  As an act of civil protest, they took military draft files, doused them with nepalm, and set them ablaze.  The play chronicles the legal proceedings which resulted.
The nine participants were arrested, and in a highly publicized trial, sentenced to prison terms.  Brothers, Daniel and Philip Berrigan, were propelled into the national spotlight. 
The CCBC production also incorporated period music, arranged and performed by Snorkelkat’s Skip Smaldone.  The production was a unified, ensemble performance by CCBC students. Enjoy these photos.Baltimore stage and film actor, Devon Harris plays artist, Tom Lewis
CCBC Professor, Ray Weglein, as the prosecuting attorney, and William Hauserman as the judge.
 Joanie Baker, Sean Latta, Brandi Sheppard, and Devon Harris as defendants, Mary Moylan, David Darst, George Mische, and Thomas Lewis.
  Marshal, Daniel Freundel listens to testimony as the Judge watches on screen. 
Brandi Sheppard, as George Mische, presents his testimony.
The burning of the draft files.
  trial-of-caton-nine-6920.jpg trial-of-caton-nine-6911.jpg   
Like most of what I see on the CCBC stage, this production was powerful! Ensemble members included Graham Smyth, Shawn Vain, Sean Latta, Jonathan Staten, Devon Harris, Andrea Wardell, Tim Whitehead, Brandi Sheppard, Jaonie Baker, Bernie Noeller, William Hauserman, Brittney Geelhaar, Ray Weglein, and Daniel Freundel.
 Amazing artist and director, Carl Freundel, gives pre show notes.  It is inspiring just to listen to him set boundaries for his cast and then encourage them to explore.
 The ensemble also had the privilege of spending the day with Catonsville Nine members, George Mische, Dave Eberhart,  and Thomas Melville. How cool is that?! 
(photo by Anne Lefter) 
The technical team included set designer, Marc Smith, technician Keny Horning, costume designer, Kendra Rai, stage manager, Tim Fitzpatrick, sound designer, Churck Green, production coordinator, Precious Stone, and Dramaturg, Daniel Freundel. 
George Mische, Philip Berrigan and John Hogan guarding the flame of the burning draft cards. May 17, 1969.


3 Responses to “The Trial of the Catonsville Nine by Daniel Berrigan”

  1. It’s wonderful to see that the message lives on. It was worth it!! Thanks, guys, for picking up the ball. We have much more to do. My best wishes.

  2. Kathy Freundel Says:

    What an honor that you’ve visited this site and left a message. Thank you for the sacrifices that you’ve made to live your message . . . the message of Christ and of considering others better than yourself. You’ve left a legacy that has touched so many lives. Many blessings.

  3. Hal O'Leary Says:

    I recently put together a readers theatre program based on Howard Zinn’ producton of American voices at Wheeling Jesuit University with multiple local sponsors. It was called “This Too Is America”. It was well recieves and I have now been approached by a cast member suggeating that we do “The Catonsville Nine”. I would appreciate any information regarding the availability of the script and any royalties that would be expected.

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