First Stage touches hearts, engages minds, and transforms lives by creating extraordinary theater experiences for young people and families through professional theater productions that inspire, enlighten, and entertain; unparalleled Theater Academy training that fosters life skills through stage skills; and dynamic Theater in Education programs that promote active learning in our schools and community.
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Underground Railroad brought to life through distance learning event!
On January 11, First Stage Lead Teacher (and Music Director of A MIDNIGHT CRY), Sheri Williams Pannell
and Kimberly Simmons teamed up to offer students a unique distance learning
opportunity with the Milwaukee Public Museum. Students experienced the world of Caroline Quarlls, the first documented person to make her way to freedom through the Underground Railroad and the inspiration for A MIDNIGHT CRY. In character as Caroline Quarlls, Sheri recounted the details of her harrowing journey. Kimberly Simmons, Caroline's direct descendant, shared details of the Underground Railroad in the 1840’s and how her story is closely connected to Milwaukee.
Kimberly Simmons (left) and Sheri Williams Pannell
recount the journey of Caroline Quarlls
opportunity to re-create the historical character Caroline Quarlls for the
distance learning project was exciting enough, but to interact with her
great-great-great granddaughter was thrilling,” said Sheri. “I was so moved when
after the broadcast, Kimberly Simmons told me my French accent represented the
way she believed her Creole great-great-great grandmother Caroline would have
Sheri Williams Pannell
performance was broadcast live to third, fourth and fifth grade students from
11 Milwaukee area schools. Artifacts and photographs from the
Underground Railroad and Milwaukee's role in this movement were provided by the
Milwaukee Public Museum and their Education Department. Kimberly Simmons fielded questions from the students immediately after the presentation.
This Distance Learning program is available for classrooms free of
charge. Please contact First Stage Education Director Julia Magnasco with
questions at (414) 267-2971 or firstname.lastname@example.org.