Slavery in the United States became illegal in the 1860s. Before that, many slaves found their way north by following the Big Dipper, or the Drinking Gourd as they called it. Our story begins in 1880 with Old Ellie and Old Sam, two escaped slaves who share their brave story along the path to freedom called the Underground Railroad.
In the early 1800s, white settlers and missionaries were intent on bringing the English language to the illiterate Native Americans. Sequoyah was intrigued by these leaves of paper with strange marks that talked. Doing what no one had ever done before, Sequoyah set about creating a written Cherokee languagehelping preserve the tribe's history and culture even today.
La Llorona (The Crying Woman) is a sad and haunting tale from Mexico. Parents have told the story for hundreds of years to misbehaving children and to guard against vanity. Some say the story is about Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés and a native Mexican woman who served as his translator. Her loss can be compared to the loss of native Mexican culture after the Spanish conquest.
In 1845, Frederick Douglass's first autobiography became a bestseller. Many readers could not believe that such a brilliant writer was ever a slave. When Douglass wrote the book, slavery had not yet ended so he kept secret how he escaped from Maryland. By 1881, the Civil War had ended slavery and Douglass felt the time was right to reveal how he escaped. This play is adapted from Douglass's own words from The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass.
Most people take it for granted: riding a bike. In the late 1800s, the bicycle first came to the United States from Europe. This new "steel horse" was wildly popular. But for women, who either worked in factories or stayed at home, the bicycle liberated them like nothing ever has. One two-wheeled invention changed fashion, opened doors, and led to a movement in women's rights still felt today.
The 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln was killed by an assassins bullet on April 15, 1865. Lincoln preserved the union of the nation, but after the Civil War he struggled with Congress and the people over Reconstruction. Despite the war and political strife, Lincolns life and legacy touched the hearts and souls of millions then as it does today. This play draws from the writings of many of those people and from Lincoln himself.
Culture gives humans a sense of identity. This title examines how cultures around the world mix and change in response to migration and settlement. This fascinating book examines examples from history including: the slave trade and the impact of African culture on North America and then the world; the forcing of Native Americans to adopt European culture; and the cultural interchange between the British Empire and India.