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ERIC Number: ED470703
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Nov
Pages: 15
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Performing the Past: Echoes from American History.
Vartabedian, Laurel Klinger
Although few leaders will attain the legendary status of Mother Jones, social movements depend upon practitioners of drama to interest others in their quest. In the contemporary classroom, the blending of the rhetoric of social movements with the creation and performance of reader's theater in honors public speaking has produced extraordinary results. In one classroom, students created readers theater presentations based upon the militia movement, right to die, and women's suffrage. They then performed their original scripts for other classes on campus, including government, philosophy, and basic speech courses. The activity introduced the students to the power of rhetoric in altering history and defining culture, and gave them the opportunity to perform before an audience. The educator's own interest in social movements resulted in the development of this approach to teaching honors public speaking. What began initially as an effort to bring Mother Jones to life for students is presently evolving into a full-length music drama about the Ludlow Massacre and the coal strike which took place in southern Colorado in 1913-14. This paper provides: (1) a synopsis of historical events; (2) selected examples from the libretto which was developed around these events; and (3) remarks with regard to the integration of the rhetoric of social movements into historic music drama. (Contains 2 notes, 9 references, and libretto excerpts.) (NKA)
Publication Type: Creative Works; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Colorado