The Inspired Citizen’s Project harnesses the needs expressed by teachers and administrators (via focus groups with elementary and middle school teachers) over the past 12 months. Not only are teachers teetering between in-classroom and online formats of instruction, they are having to grapple with an increasingly politicized and polarized educational landscape. Schools are looking for appropriate and relevant ways to address Black Lives Matter and other BIPOC issues not to mention hunger, lack of internet service and other effects of poverty (especially in rural Vermont.)
Our work centers around these themes:
Active Empathy (embodying point of view)
Personal versus civic responsibility
Scientific theory: systems and interconnectedness
Following rules even when rules lead to destruction
Accessing historical narrative through theatre
Who is America? Who is my community? Who am I in this community/world?
Romeo and Juliet: Our Parent’s Strife
A diverse cast of actors and teaching artists performs selections of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Scenes are performed in tandem with mini-lessons asking students to explore point of view, empathy, complex choice and consequence. These interactive sessions get students on their feet, using their voice, imagination, and creativity to make Shakespeare alive, immediate and personal. Format: On-demand pre-recorded sessions/Length:50 minute sessions (2-part series).
Living Biography: The Browns
5th – 12th grade
Theatre Connects our local land and history and people of passion. John Brown showed his Devon sheep at the Addison County Fair. He travelled the sail ferry from Vergennes, VT to Westport, NY to be with his family in North Elba, NY. They were farming the land alongside a little known settlement of freed blacks called “Timbuctoo.” In the mid-nineteenth century New England land baron, Gerrit Smith deeded land to blacks as they required acreage to vote and John and Mary Brown was helping them learn to farm the frigid and rocky terrain. Performers and teaching artists explore Vermont and New York’s role in black history and voting rights using primary documents related to John and Mary Brown. The text and lessons will be developed in collaboration with the freedom education organization John Brown Lives! ( a 20-year old organization that makes available the resources of many BLM scholars including frequent Atlantic contributor and Fredrick Douglas biographer David Blight, and Cornell history professor and author Margaret Washington.) Format: On-demand, pre-recorded
sessions/Length: 2 x 50-minute sessions