Sunday, 18 February 2018 22:33

The Industrial Revolution’s Gilded Age

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The Industrial Revolution’s Gilded Age 
(Set in 1891) This performance poignantly contrasts the opulent robber barons with the impoverished workers of the age. Beginning with the grand opening of a “settlement house,” the need for progressive social reform is established. Key factors in the industrial revolution’s development: power, transportation and technology are revealed through the introduction of three dominant figures: James Watt (steam engine), Cornelius Vanderbilt (railroad) and Thomas Edison (inventions). 

 As American industry exploded, immigrants poured into the system by the millions. Their squalid living conditions and working environment, along with the tragic practice of child labor, are depicted. And the response to mass homelessness among urban children is illustrated with the creation of the orphan trains.  

The show then shifts to opulence and grandeur with an elegant gala and graceful dance. In attendance are robber barons Andrew Carnegie, J.P. Morgan and John D. Rockefeller.

The program concludes with an ominous account of the Johnstown Flood.

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Sunday, 18 February 2018 22:31

Women's Rights

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Nashville - 1920   Women's Rights re-enacts critical events in the development of the early women's movement, focusing on both the women and men who shaped its early days. 
     The program opens with the Tennessee legislature voting on whether or not to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  If Tennessee votes favorably, women will have won the right to vote.  The story then shifts to the beginning of the women's movement at the 1840 World Anti-Slavery Convention in London, England.  In attendance are leading suffragists Lucretia and James Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and William Lloyd Garrison. 

Eight years later, at the first Women's Rights Convention at Seneca Falls, NY we hear Frederick Douglass famously say, "If women do not have the right to vote, they will never have the power to make the changes they need."  In 1850, Susan B. Anthony takes up the cause and serves as it's most prominent champion for the next fifty years. 
     By the turn of the century, women's social and economic lives had changed dramatically, and their autonomy is portrayed with a free-spirited dance in a 1919 dance hall.  They were still, however, far from their ultimate goal.  A poignant rendition of the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire (the workplace of Siga Schoennwolf) depicts the continuing exploitation of women workers. 
     The program concludes with the announcement of the legislative results--the passage of the "Susan B. Anthony Nineteenth Amendment".  Women, at last, have the right to vote.

Siga Schoennwolf  Miss Schoennwolf is a fictitious working-class woman, living in New York City.  She emigrated from Lithuania in 1905.  After witnessing firsthand the exploitation of women, she joined the courageous minority who stood up for women's suffrage.

Best for grades 4 - Adult

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Sunday, 18 February 2018 22:29

Journey of an Irish Immigrant

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Liverpool - 1894 - Journey of an Irish Immigrant follows the path of immigrant, Maggie McLaughlin and her sister, Annie as they make their way across the Atlantic. 
     The voyage begins in Liverpool, England with a depiction of the sisters' preparations and the items commonly found in immigrants' trunks.  While centered on the sisters' journey, the program encompasses the broader immigrant experience, focusing on the harsh conditions of the boats and the courage it took to sail across the ocean.
     Though transatlantic travel was challenging, Maggie and her sister engage a Russian family in a high-stepping Irish dance aboard the boat.  Once in America, the immigrants are then subjected to the rigorous examinations (including physical exams and testing one's capacity to find work) at Ellis Island.  As they embark on their new life in America, some of the newly arrived travelers face the prejudices encountered by many in "the land of opportunity."

Maggie McLaughlin - is a fictitious Irish woman emigrating from County Cork, Ireland.  She is in search of a richer life in America.  Maggie is strong and hopeful as she confronts the exploitation and discrimination of her people upon her arrival.

Best for grades 4 - Adult

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Sunday, 18 February 2018 22:23

The Mysteries of Ancient Egypt

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Egypt - 1473 BC - The Mysteries of Ancient Egypt encompasses major achievements throughout the first half of Egypt's four-thousand-year history. 
     At the top of the show, Queen Hatshepsut from the XVIII Dynasty establishes that Egypt is without a ruling pharaoh.  The mystery of who will serve as the next Pharaoh will unfold with the upcoming annual flood of the Nile.  The Queen and her vizier (the highest ranking official), Senmut, explain how the river's water level is measured during the yearly flood by the use of the nilometer. 
     As we prepare for the new leader's appearance, we visit with great pharaohs from the past--the Narmer palette (the oldest document in human history) reveals the importance of Narmer, Egypt's original king.  The pharaoh Djoser is commemorated by the creation of the first pyramid, designed by the architect, Imhoptep.  The splendor of the pyramid contrasts with the great toll its construction took on the local farmers enlisted to build it.
     As the show returns to the day of Queen Hatshepsut, we watch her father, Tuthmose I, prepare for his Sed Festival with the creation of exquisite wall art in a temple built for the occasion.  The Queen then surprises her father with a group of dancers from Luxor.  A beautiful Egyptian dance is performed (by the Queen and students) to his delight.  The program concludes with the crowning of the new Pharaoh and the great mystery is solved.

Hatshepsut was the historical "Great Wife", (queen) who married her half-brother, Tuthmose II.  At his death, she was left the ruling regent of Egypt.  She wears an ornate royal headpiece and traditional black wig.  A bejeweled royal collar, waistband and armband denote her royal status.

Best for grades 4 - adult

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Sunday, 18 February 2018 22:18

The Sleepy Hollow Halloween Show

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Sleepy Hollow, New York - 1799 - The Sleepy Hollow Halloween Show weaves the characters from Washington Irving's classic story into a new and exciting tale.  Designed to be spooky (but not scary), the show begins where the original story leaves off.   Ichabod Crane was last seen riding home from Herr Van Tassel's October gala.  No one seems to know what happened to Ichabod...until now.  Determined to find the true identity of the Headless Horseman, Ichabod Crane enlists the help of his friend, Katrina Van Tassle in his search.  They encounter a wayward coachman, skeletons that high-step in a graveyard dance and even Rip Van Winkle appears for a rousing game of ninepins.  Though in the end the Headless Horseman is revealed, students are left with a question that can only be answered by reading Washington Irving's enduring story.

Katrina Van Tassel - is a fictional colonial woman.  She wears the fashions of the day--a handmade colonial dress, a mob cap, lace boots and choker.

Best for grades K - 6

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Sunday, 18 February 2018 22:10

The Royalty of the Renaissance

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England - 1598  The Royalty of the Renaissance provides students with a glorious illustration of life and times in Elizabethan England.  Customs, manners and class structure are creatively explored. 

Lady Celia Beaumont is betrothed to the Duke of Burgundy in France.  The night before her departure, the Queen throws a feast in her honor.  In attendance are Lady Celia's dear friends, The Earl of Essex and the Countess of Shrewsbury.  As their repast is being served, Queen Elizabeth's ascension to the throne and her royal lineage are recreated.  A majestic court dance using period music and dance techniques is taught and performed by Master Wessex (using students and faculty to portray the royal court dancers).  Just after a Shakespearean sonnet beguiles the royal audience, the Queen knights a clever young squire who becomes the newest knight in Her Majesty's guard.

Lady Celia Beaumont is a fictitious Elizabethan Lady-in-Waiting.  She speaks in the eloquent Elizabethan dialect of the Renaissance Era.  An extravagant blue velvet gown is worn with hoop, bum-roll and a ruff.  A jeweled headpiece and veil complete the elaborate hand crafted attire. 

Best for grades  K - Adult  

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Sunday, 18 February 2018 22:00

One-Room Schoolhouse

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New England - 1890s  The One-Room Schoolhouse program focuses on the values of a nineteenth-century education.  The experience is recreated by students and teachers with a bevy of fun role reversals throughout the show.

Since living alone as a young woman would be socially unacceptable in the Victorian era, teacher Miss Mabel Weatherbee dwells in the home of the Lutz family.  Once the madatory before-school chores are completed by Catharine, Elizabeth, and Andrew Lutz, they join Miss Weatherbee and neighboring children on their trek --either on foot or by horseback -- to the schoolhouse.  After getting aquainted with the room's layout, the subjects being studied, and the school supplies needed (such as a slate, chalk, wood, rags, lunch pail, and the like), the rules of the classroom are then spelled out by visiting schoolmarm, the stern Miss Gunther.  Following a clever recitation by promising pupil, Percy Freihofer, the Spring Jubilee unfolds with an exuberant square dance to complete the show.

Miss Mabel Weatherbee - is a fictitous single woman from the South.  Her high-collared dress and hairstyle reflect the rigid Victorian norms of the day.

Best for grades K - 8

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