In March 2019, the National Constitution Center will open the first permanent exhibit and gallery devoted to the constitutional legacy of the Civil War. To complement the exhibit, the Center will create a 20-30 minute independent theatrical piece which will premiere in late June/ early July 2019. This original theater piece will illuminate the exhibit’s content and enrich the experience of both exhibit and general-museum visitors.
The exhibit will be organized into three chronological sections: Building to Crisis, The Civil War, and Reconstruction. The theater piece will focus specifically on Reconstruction and the passage of the 14th Amendment —how it came to be, it’s meaning, and its impact. The piece will explore the history of slavery from the drafting of the Constitution through the Antebellum era, the Civil War, and Reconstruction, illuminating themes of freedom, equality, and citizenship that remain relevant today. The piece will also develop new ways to teach with primary sources and to incorporate primary sources into theater.
A huge part of the second phase of this theatre project, which will begin in July/August once the piece is open, is the creation of online education components (including lesson plans, video clips, audio elements, partner resources and other educational materials) which will be utilized to make the onsite work of the theatre piece accessible to classrooms nationwide, allowing educators to have resources for engaging their students with the work right in their own rooms.