Movie, “Sons and Daughters of Thunder” 

Advance ticket sales at

How did you discover this story & what is it about?
The film is based on a play by Iowa playwright Earlene Hawley and Curtis Heeter.  It is the true story of the 1834 Lane Seminary anti-slavery debates led by firebrand abolitionist Theodore Weld in Cincinnati. The controversial event sparked a flame in a young Harriet Beecher Stowe to write “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”.

— How did you find actors and the right locations?
Casting director Kim Kurtenbach assembled an excellent cast from the Quad Cities, IA, IL and Los Angeles. We shot at historic sites in or near the Quad City region, as well as Cincinnati where the true story took place.

— Where can people see it?
The film premieres on the Putnam Giant Screen Saturday, March 16 at 6:30pm, which is sold out. Another showing is on Sunday, March 17 at 3pm. Advance ticket sales at is strongly recommended.

— What do you want the audience to take away from the film?
We’re still wrestling with the consequences of slavery today. The story still feels timely.  You can still identify with struggling with a difficult, divisive issue. The way you begin to resolve something like that is to begin to talk about it.

— This is a narrative film. How was it different from making a documentary film?
Tammy and I have made over a dozen documentaries together and usually it is just the two of us.  This film project required 25 professional actors, over 50 extras, crew, costumes, locations and props to tell the story. It was a big team effort.