The cast of the 2007 show
(Click to enlarge)


The 2007 Production of
“The Ballad of Black Jack”

Book, Music & Lyrics by Don A. Mueller

About the BALLAD...
Based on historical fact, "The Ballad of Black Jack" deals with pro-and anti-slavery issues that nearly ripped the state apart, putting "Bleeding Kansas" on the front pages of national newspapers in 1855-56. The play tells the true story of Northeast Kansas settlers who were fighting for Kansas to enter the Union as a free state, and the opposition they faced from pro-slavery Missourians. The show features historical characters such as free-state Gov. Charles Robinson, free-state militia leader Capt. James Abbott, pro-slavery sheriff Sam Jones, Ft. Leavenworth's Col. Edwin Sumner and the fiery abolitionist John Brown. Lively songs and dances and a love story are melded together with the historical events surrounding two Quaker settlers in the area, Jacob Branson and Charles Dow.
This big stage musical production was written by Baldwin City playwright and composer Don A. Mueller in 1970 with the expectation that it would be performed only for the town’s centennial celebration. The play became a favorite feature of the annual Baldwin Maple Leaf Festival on the third full weekend in October, and was performed for 13 years between 1970 and 1983, and one year at Liberty Hall in Lawrence in 1986. Following a 14-year absence, the show was brought back to Baldwin City in 2001 and was performed annually through 2005. In 2006 the show moved to Lawrence where it became part of the area’s “Civil War on the Western Frontier” events in August. The 2007 production was at the Lawrence Arts Center Theater August 9-12. It was the 21st production of the play.
The timeless story and the music of the “Ballad” bring cast members and audiences back year after year. Several second-generation family members now appear in the show, as do several family groups.
Ballad of Black Jack, Inc. is a registered Kansas non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation with a volunteer board of directors that exists solely for the purpose of producing this play and its music.

The organization may be contacted at:

2724 Lawrence Ave.,

Lawrence, KS 66047

785-640-0196 or