Civil War icon HIRES

Virginia - 1865 - The major economic and political issues of the day, such as slavery and states' rights are interwoven into the program to offer a contextual understanding of life during the Civil War. 
     Charlotte Beauregard, a Virginian, is devastated when her two sons, Samuel and Nathan both join the fighting.  Samuel enlists with the Confederate Army while Nathan joins the Union Army. 
  We watch with Charlotte as key events, such as the first shots at Fort Sumter, the Battle of Antietam and the Gettysburg Address shape the era, and we get to know the political positions of Presidents Jefferson Davis and Abraham Lincoln.  The activities of the Underground railroad and the bravery of Harriet Tubman are interactively illustrated. 
     After a poignant rendition of Pickett's Charge--the Confederate Army's final attempt to overcome the northern forces in Gettysburg--the program concludes with the southern surrender at Appomatix Courthouse, VA in 1865. 
     With the war over at last, Charlotte's two sons return home and their arrival is celebrated with a good old-fashioned square dance at the Beauregard farm.

Charlotte Beauregard - is a fictitious upper-class southern belle.  She wears an elaborate hoop shirt, with matching head piece and gloves.  Speaking in a southern dialect, the character creates a realistic depiction of nineteenth-century mores.

Best for grades 4 - Adult

Gilded Age icon HIRES

The Industrial Revolution’s Gilded Age (1891)
Discover the contrast between robber barons and the working poor with activist Eloise Remington. Together both classes transformed America into an industrial powerhouse.

Womens Rights icon HIRES

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

Immigrant icon HIRES

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

American Revolution icon HIRES

Philadelphia - 1776   The American Revolution depicts the major events that led up to the revolt against the British when taxes were imposed on the colonists after the French and Indian War.    
     With the help of firey Sam Adams, Abigail Datchery (and students) reconstruct the 1770's Boston Massacre, the 1773 Boston Tea Party and Paul Revere's historic ride to Lexington, where the first shot of the revolution was fired. 
     Along with turning points in our country's political history, the show depicts eighteenth-century customs, including an aristocratic formal gala.  The dance (attended by John Hancock, George Washington and Benjamin Franklin) is led by Miss Datchery and performed beautifully by the students and teachers.

Abigail Datchery - Miss Datchery is a fictitious character patterned after the colonial aristocracy in the late eighteenth-century. 
     Her exquisite custom-made dress is complete with a bum-roll and farthingale to extend her skirt.  She also sports a matching hat and powdered wig, in keeping the fashion of the colonial period. 

Best for grades 4 - 8

Egypt icon HIRES

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 higest 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 erection of the first pyramid, designed by the architect, Imhoptep.  The spendor of the pyramid contracts 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, Tuthmosis 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, Tuthmosis 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

Mrs Claus icon HIRES

North Pole - Timeless - Share the good cheer of the yuletide with Mrs. Claus and Herbie the Elf. Partake in the stories, sing holiday songs and dance with the Sugarplum Fairies in this jolly celebration.

Best for grades K - Adult

SleepyHollow icon HIRES

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

Vikings icon HIRES

Greenland - 993 - Ten years after Leif Ericsson's return to Greenland from Vinland (North America) all the Vikings of the settlement are gathered for a celebration.  The show begins with an introduction of Eric the Red, Leif's father and the "founder" of Greenland.  Next the great Leif Ericsson appears and his famous journey is then recounted.  With Ericsson, we meet Bjarni Herjulfsson - the man who charted the western islands years before.  Next, Leif loads his longship with provisions contributed by various settlement folk. 
     We then set off in search of land to the west.  Ericsson's first sighting brings him to "Helluland" (Baffin Island) and the flora and fauna of the region are recorded by Tyrkir.  Using the runic alphabet, Tyrkir was the only Viking among the crew who could read or write.  It is then off to "Markland" (Labrador) where the skraelings (natives) are encountered. 
     Finally the crew find themselves in Vinland (Newfoundland) where they settle in for the winter.  They entertain themselves with Norse tales, wrestling matches and energetic stalwart dances to pass the long winter nights.  The program concludes with Leif's return to Greenland and the marriage of his brother, Thorstein to Gudrid.

Gudrid Ericsson - is a historical Nordic woman.  It is said she was the most well-traveled woman in the world in the tenth century.  She wears traditional Viking apparel with tunic, underdress, head piece and pouch.  Her accessories are made of leather and fur. 

Best for grades K - Adult

Grace Pirate icon HIRES

England - 1601  Grace the Pirate reveals the more whimsical aspects of pirate life.  From the beginning, Grace O'Malley establishes her student crew and the rules for sailing aboard her vessel.  With the aide of her newly 'recruited' quartermaster, boatswain and crew, Grace sets off with map in hand to find the treasure of Blackbeard the Pirate.  Once at sea, she entertains her crew with one of their favorite folktales.  However, the crew hasn't sailed for long before the dreaded Blackbeard appears.  A friendly struggle of wits, dancing skills and athletic competitions ensues to determine who shall win the treasure map.  The two mighty pirates finally agree to work together to find the treasure and the booty is shared by all.  (Each student receives a token of treasure.)

Grace O'Malley - The character is based on the historical Irish pirate, Grace O'Malley, that sailed during the Elizabethan period.  She is feisty, strong-willed and fearless.  Bedecked in her Elizabethan vest, skirt, knickers, boots and hat, she is a true swashbuckler from the 17th century.

Best for grades K - 3

Renaissance icon HIRES

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  

fairy godmother icon HIRES

Set in Storyland - Cinderella's Fairy Godmother  offers a fun twist on a classic fairy tale.  With plenty of roles for both boys and girls, it engages and appeals to all students.

The story begins on Cinderella's wedding day.  She and her Fairy Godmother realize they must solve a riddle before Cinderella can marry the Prince.  So off to Storyland they journey to find the answer.  While Cinderella visits with her friend, Sleeping Beauty, Fairy Godmother ventures forth to meet a variety of pixies and fairy tale characters like Little Red Riding Hood, Belle from Beauty and the Beast and Jack from The House that Jack Built.  Each encounter brings elegant dancing, a chorus of song and theatrical frolics in addition to clues to their puzzle.    At the end of Fairy Godmother's quest, the students help solve the riddle.  Cinderella, (who incidentally has just finished graduate school) may now marry the prince.

Fairy Godmother - is a fictional character bedecked in a twinkly lavender gown replete with roses, lace and jewels.  Her gossamer wings and diamond-covered crown and wand complete her magical attire. 

Best for Graces K-3

Pioneer icon HIRES

Independence, MO 1860s   Pioneer Travel on the Oregon Trail re-enacts a day of westward covered-wagon travel.  As the journey begins, pioneer Penny Pritchard shows "young frontiersmen" how to properly pack their wagons with food, medicines, tools and other necessities and she instructs them on how they'll use oxen, mules, horses, scouts and hunters.  Along the way, the group is met with buffalo stampedes, snakebites and other challenging obstacles.  The program ends at the evening campsite.  After their meal, the banjo player strikes up a tune and a lively country-dance is enjoyed by all.

Penny Pritchard - is a strong, self-reliant fictitious pioneer woman.  She is dressed in traditional nineteenth-century long-sleeved dress with bonnet.

Best for grades K - 5

Schoolhouse icon HIRES

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

Mother Nature icon HIRES

Mother Nature packs a powerful message with her depiction of the natural world. Combining ecology with mythology, Mother Nature and her friend, The Fairy Queen, teach the importance of preservation.  After being informed by the Fairy Queen that some "animal" is harming our ecosystems, Mother Nature heads off to [your town] to find the offending mammal.  Northeast habitats such as a pond, a forest and the sea shore are depicted using both indigenous animal and imaginary "fairy life".  Through stories, dance and improvisation, emphasis is placed on how humans impact various ecosystems and how conservation is our responsibility.

Mother Nature - the mythological Mother Nature passionately strives to maintain a balance in nature.  She is connected to the "fairy-world" and can see, hear and talk with water sprites, fairies and animals who inhabit the ecosystems in which we live.

Best for grades K - 3

Colonial icon HIRES

Pennsylvania - 1730's

Colonial Life is a really fun program based on the life of an indentured servant.  The show depicts the arduous life of early America as well as the revelry.  Though days of rest and merriment are few, today is the day of the Colonial Faire.  With the excitement of the faire on everyone's mind, villagefolk eagerly apply themselves to their work in order to enjoy the day.  Beginning with a list of chores already performed, servant Katie Cotswold invites the assistance of those around her to gather the dye for the wool, prepare the wool to be dyed (including carding) and make deliveries.  On her travels she encounters various townsfolk including French trapper - Jean Claude Guillaume, tavern-keep, Mistress Reinhardt and the Barnaby boys.  Finally, she is off to the village square to partake in the Faire.  A variety of colonial games are played by the folks from the village (students).  The day concludes with a rollicking and coloful Maypole dance.

Katie Cotswold - is a fictitious colonial woman.  As this is a day of merry-making, she wears her best yet simple colonial dress and servant's hat with an apron and black shoes.