“Freedom Star” by Connie Winters

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Freedom Star
Written and Narrated by Connie Winters
Artwork by Kit DeBerry
Audiobook Directed by Karen M. Chan

Follow along with the story here!

Freedom Star began as a monologue for the Appalachian Green Parks Project telling the first person story of a runaway slave and his trip on the Underground Railroad. It was a powerful piece that lost a voice when the group disbanded. I wanted to be able to share it with more people, especially young people and so the book idea was created. I’d never thought of it as an audio book until talking with Karen Chan, but I am excited at the prospect of it being heard by a wide and diverse audience.

Connie Winters grew up in the Cincinnati area and attended Ohio University where she earned BFAs in both theater (1973) and dance (1980). She spent several years as a performer and writer with the Appalachian Green Parks Project which was created by her husband, Bob Winters, as part of O.U.’s summer program. This, along with living in the Athens area, sparked her interest in the stories of the Appalachian region. After starting a family, Connie began teaching dance and theater which led her to return to school and get a teaching degree. She then taught elementary school for 15 year before moving on to the college level for 9 more years. During those years, Connie also began writing children’s books. And Freedom Star was born.


Stella Rose

Dale Ricardo Shields

David Emerson Toney

Kaila T. Benford

Patricia Ann Thomas

Jeremy Ludemann

Joe Balding

Charlie Lewis

Karen M. Chan

Ayesha Nizhoni


Cecilia Rinaldi

Jim Parsons, Celeste Parsons, Joe Balding, Rochelle Reamy, Cecilia Rinaldi



Produced by WOUB Public Media

Executive Producer: Thomas S. Hodson

Coordinating Producer and Audio Supervisor: Adam Rich

Associate Producers: Mark Brewer

Artwork:  Kit DeBerry

“OH FREEDOM” sung by David Emerson Toney

Music Accompaniment by Celia and Charlie Lewis

Pre-production Audio Script V/O: C.M. Coleman



Join director, Karen M. Chan, in a conversation with the author of Freedom Star, Connie Winters, and voice actor, David Emerson Toney, about the origins of the story and their time in the Appalachian Green Parks Project:

Freedom Star by Connie Winters