"My family attended the original performance of The Price of Freedom,
and although we've seen it many times since then,
it always touches our hearts and lifts our view."
"It lasts less than an hour, but you will remember it for a long time."
The Price of Freedom is first and foremost a tribute to those who served in World War II and the loved ones they left behind. It could be called a piece of musical theater, since its story is told largely through song, but it differs from traditional musical theater in a few key ways.
First, it is performed as a concert—not as a dramatic piece—with just 9 actor/singers and an orchestra. There are no costumes or sets to distract from the message. Rather than perform as the characters in the stories, the actors perform in tribute to them, with nothing but the words and music written to tell their stories.
Second, the performance has a 'documentary' element to it. The actors’ stories are brought to life by authentic newsreels, photos and radio broadcasts from the time period, which transport the audience back to era of the 'greatest generation,' and make the experience that much more real.
Lastly, there is no dialogue or physical interaction between the characters. The interaction takes place entirely through letters written between the battlefield and the homefront. In this way, we watch each character’s very personal and intimate reaction to the events of the story as they unfold. We hear the words they wrote and see the meaning behind them.
All of these elements combine to make The Price of Freedom a very unique and powerful blend of original music, documentary footage, and simple storytelling to create an emotional message of hope and gratitude.
The concert follows three stories that ultimately intertwine: an expectant wife sending off her husband to Europe (David & Arline), a widowed mother seeing her only two sons off to the Pacific (Mrs. Miller, Steven and Jack), and a young girl sending her boyfriend off to fight (Shep & Ellen).
The Price of Freedom is the result of a collaboration between composer Rob Gardner and songwriter McKane Davis. The show first premiered in November 2002. Since then, it has been performed live for audiences across the country. The response afterward from the tearful patrons is invariably: "This is something that everyone in America needs to experience."
(Note: The above description was previously posted on SpireMusic.net)
The Price of Freedom is shown in 12 videos below. Most are 3 to 5 minutes long. In all, the presentation lasts less than an hour. I hope this amazing musical message inspires us, as it has many others, to cherish and preserve the great heritage of liberty we have been given!