The U.S. Capitol Historical Society is excited to partner with StoryWorks Theater to teach the Constitution through theater in order to develop inclusive and transformative educational experiences that foster a deeper understanding of the U.S. Constitution. The plays developed through this program engage students in inquiry based and experiential learning to inspire them to ask complex questions about the historical underpinnings behind contemporary issues. The process creates pathways to civic engagement and the fundamental recognition that “We the people” includes us all.
Now’s The Time
The play Now’s The Time opens at the dawn of Reconstruction. The Civil War has just ended but the nation is plunged again into crisis with the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. Andrew Johnson ascends to the Presidency determined to restore white supremacy in the South. But Congressional radicals led by Thaddeus Stevens are fighting for a different vision. They intend to create a new society of full racial equality, where Black Americans will have real economic and political power, including ownership of land confiscated from the rebels, and education, suffrage and election to public office. This titanic political battle between the President and Congress culminates in the first impeachment and trial of a U.S. president, and to more than 150 years of violence and discrimination against Black Americans.
You can learn more about Now’s The Time and its lesson plan HERE.
You can watch Now’s The Time in its entirety BELOW.
The play Beautiful Agitators tells the story of Vera Mae Pigee, a hair stylist and business owner in Clarksdale, Mississippi, and one of the unsung heroes of the civil rights era. Using her beauty parlor as a hub for Delta-based organizing and resistance, Pigee operated her salon by day and then transformed it into a clandestine center for civil rights organization and education in the evenings. Known for her big hats and larger than life personality, Mrs. Pigee led the direct action that registered nearly 6,000 African Americans to vote in the region. Although Pigee was largely left out of the history books, along with many women of the movement, this play revives her legacy by highlighting her methods and tactics.
You can learn more about Beautiful Agitators and its lesson plan HERE.
You can watch Beautiful Agitators in its entirety BELOW.