Middle Passage is an epic work adapted from Charles Johnson's celebrated book of the same name. Written for the stage by David Barr, III and Ilesa Duncan, the story follows cavalier, self-confessed rascal Rutherford Calhoun, a recently freed slave, from Illinois down to decadent 1830 New Orleans. In an attempt to escape debtors and avoid a forced marriage, he stows away on an outbound rigger, The Republic. But The Republic is not just any ship. It's a slave ship — and it's headed to Africa. Thus begins a voyage of self-discovery that changes our young hero forever.