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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