On June 12th and 13th, 2018, the Robert H. Jackson Center invites students in grades 3 through 7 to experience history in a unique and provocative way. The Jackson Center is bringing Living Voices offered by Theatreworks USA to present multiple performances of two separate programs, Through the Eyes of A Friend and New American, for elementary and middle school students. Students will experience a unique multi-media combination of theater, digital, and live interaction that creates a high impact experience and unforgettable journey through history. On both dates, two performances of New American and one performance of Through the Eyes of A Friend will be presented.
For students in the 3rd and 4th grades, New American tells the story of hard times in Europe in the early 1900s which forced many people to pull up their roots, and set out for a new life in America. This is the story of one of these immigrants, an Irish girl named Bridget, whose first steps in America took her through Ellis Island to New York’s Lower East Side. The program follows Bridget as she is placed in steerage on a steamship headed for New York. On board she makes a new friend and learns to weather the storms at sea. At Ellis Island, Bridget is tagged and numbered. Thousands of immigrants are crammed into a huge, noisy facility. This performance has been tailored, by Living Voices for students in the third through fourth grades.
For students in grades 5-7 Through the Eyes of A Friend offers a view into the world of Anne Frank from the perspective of one of her peers to witness the pain, loss, and hope of young people during the Holocaust. This moving program is a poignant portrait of friendship and survival, brought to life through the eyes of Anne Frank’s fictional “best friend,” Sarah. She is a composite character and inspired by the experiences and testimonies of many individuals who knew Anne Frank at certain points in her life as well as those young people who experienced the Holocaust throughout Europe.