Joy 4th Grade Visited by Youth Theatre

Joy Fourth Grade Visited by Merry-Go-Round Youth Theatre
Posted on 11/16/2018
Hands-on Learning

On November 15, 2018, John Joy fourth grade was visited by Merry-Go-Round Youth Theatre. The theatre group performed “The Keepers’ Voice” by Rick Balian.

Show Summary: “The year is 1862, and the United States of America is experiencing a time of many divisions. Battles- both ideological and literal- rage on against the backdrop of the Civil War. President Abraham Lincoln struggles to hold together a government that is still in its infancy, and slavery and women’s suffrage are two of the most highly contested issues of the day.

A prominent scholar, suffragist, and abolitionist Matilda Gage is leading the charge in the fight for Civil Rights in Upstate New York. Your students will be asked to act as representatives of the Haudenosaunee, with whom she lived and learned. Using their knowledge of the original Five Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy, the fourth-grade ambassadors will help Matilda argue for equality for all people. She will need their expert knowledge to educate an eager young reporter and a pedantic professor about the importance of Haudenosaunee traditions, and their value in building a better America in the future to come.” 

Fourth-grade students prepared for the performance ahead of time by participating in activities to teach them about the Haudenosaunee culture and their voting procedures.

The play featured three characters: 
Matilda Joslyn Gage- A real-life native of Cicero, NY. Abolitionist, scholar, and Haudenosaunee ally, she was a leader in the Women’s Suffrage Movement. Matilda was played by Devin Medley.

Thomas Short- A fictional reporter for the local paper. He is wide-eyed and eager to report on the events of the time. Thomas was played by Kilian Crowley.

Horace Klein- A fictional professor of American History at Hobart College, he is skeptical about the need for change in 1860s America. Horace was played by Brandon Fuller.

The performance was interactive with the students, each classroom represented one of the Five Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy. Students were able to participate with the characters playing games and choosing leaders. This was a great experience of hands-on learning! Thank you for your visit, Merry-Go-Round Youth Theatre!

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