Students will learn about Harriet Tubman before watching a play about the abolitionist at the Gaillard

Hands on learning

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This week, Storytree Children’s Theater will host a series of workshops and performances about Harriet Tubman’s life at various schools in the Charleston area. The theater company will meet with nine schools for a total of 23 workshops of three types: a shorter workshop, an hour long workshop in which the children create original plays, and an interactive performance in which two Storytree actors tell Harriet Tubman’s story. The week will culminate in a production of Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad by the Virginia Repertory Theater.

“Students are learning on their feet in an engaging way that allows for better understanding of this very important woman in our nation’s — and South Carolina’s —history,” said Storytree Founder Teralyn Reiter in a press release.

Through these workshops and productions, students will learn the hardships that Harriet Tubman and her friend Sarah Bradford faced as they freed themselves and hundreds of others from the horrors of slavery. During the Civil War, Tubman worked as a spy, a scout and a nurse, risking her life to save countless others. The production will provide an accurate musical history lesson that is meant to be both inspiring and heart-warming.



“Curriculum infused with the arts — especially theater — allows for students to develop their own relationship to the subject,” says Reiter. “It's not just teaching for the test but also teaching for true understanding. I always like to say it gets it into their bones.”

Storytree is a Charleston-based children’s theater company that makes theater accessible to kids of all ages and backgrounds. The company hopes to engage students’ minds, bodies, and imaginations through their fun and immersive school programs. The Harriet Tubman program is part of a partnership between Storytree and the Gaillard Education Initiative that focuses on bringing the arts into Charleston classrooms.

The workshops on Harriet Tubman run all week at local schools, and the production of Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad will be performed for both students and the public on Mon. February 12 at 1 p.m. at the Gaillard Center. Tickets are $5 and are on sale now.


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