Children/Family Programs

Children (and their parents) dive into the drama, intrigue and humor that season the American story with rich surprises!  Laughing, sighing and sometimes gasping at the stories' twists and turns, audiences come to appreciate the determination, resilience and resourcefulness of their foremothers/forefathers. Interactive performances bring children on stage to be part of the action! Always entertaining, always historically accura


Farm Girl on the Front Lines  Deborah Sampson's Secret!

 

Audiences ages 7-adult step into the quiet heroics of Massachusetts heroine Deborah Sampson (aka Samson). A child indentured servant who aspired to serve her country by becoming a soldier in The Continental Army, Deborah found herself in a pickle: she wanted the Army but the Army wouldn't  want her!  Why? She was a woman! Deborah would have to find a way to fool everyone. And she did.

This portrayal wraps in the concept of principled deception, her strategies, victories and failures as well as farm life for children; a cave with a hidden stash for Tories; refuge in a Tory barn and the constant fear of discovery! See some of the other topics Deborah addresses:

  • Deborah's childhood as an indentured servant
  • A free-spirited woman in Colonial America! Trouble!!
  • Her first plan, failure, revised plan, and success!
  • Her (elite) position in the Army, keeping her secret
  • Close calls and her famous injury
  • Corporal Robert Shirtliffe (Deborah): assistant to General Patterson
  • The secret's out!
  • Marriage and life as a farmer's wife in Sharon, MA
  • Another "first"!

Deborah's story dispels many of the myths that circulate about her and places her in relief against a backdrop of traditional Colonial culture. Peppered with props and period games, this interactive performance tells the story behind America's famous principled deception and reveals the character of the quiet rebel who pulled it off. The students can volunteer to get "into the act" by being the town crier, playing a period game, reading a tongue twister or Colonial-Schoolhouse Rules!

45-minute performance (flexible)

Also available:

Deborah Sampson' s 2nd Secret!  Children learn how respect fueled Deborah's journey towards her dream in another program

  

   The War of 1812: Dolley Tells All!

Her husband James and his advisers thought she was engrossed in her embroidery–not paying a  bit of attention to their conversation. After all, what would a woman in 1812 care about war! However, all the time Dolley was only pretending to embroider— she was actually  taking in every word the men said! Fortunately,she loves to share all she knows with children (and their parents)! Why? Because she believes this war helped America grow up and doesn't deserve its nickname " Forgotten War". Dolley's stories of futile attempts to avoid war, botched battles, high -seas heroics,  Washington afire, and Dolley's behind-the-scenes contributions as "Presidentress" educate through entertainment. Below are a few topics Mrs. Madison addresses:

  • Dolley's Quaker childhood
  • The Embargo Act and its unintended consequences
  • The U.S. as the "underdog": lack of preparedness and resources to fight an empire
  • Incompetent leadership, battle heroics and catastrophes
  • The burning of Washington
  • Dolley Madison: national heroine
  • The writing of our National Anthem
  • How the USS Constitution acquired its nickname "old Ironsides"
  • What the US gained from this "forgotten war"

Young volunteers become part of the performance, as they are invited on stage to demonstrate a period game   45 minutes

 

 

 

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