Visiting Play Digs Into Erie Canal's Beginnings
Fourth and fifth graders enjoyed an enriching social studies experience when the Capital Repertory Theater brought its On the Go Production of They Built America to Chatham April 3. The show commemorates the 200th anniversary of the start of construction on the Erie Canal and the men, women, and children who helped shape this important waterway. This play tied in nicely with local and regional history our students are currently studying.
When completed, the Erie Canal connected the Atlantic Ocean (via the Hudson River) to the Great Lakes and the western interior. It made a lasting impact on New York state and the United States as a whole and is considered by many to be one of the most important civil engineering projects ever completed in North America. In the play, Capital Rep actors brought to life different characters from history such as George Washington, physician Dr. Finch, an orphan from Ireland named Molly, an Italian mason named Antonio, and others to help tell the story of how the canal came to be.
Capital Rep’s visit to Chatham was organized by grade five academic support teacher Niki Wrigley and made possible through a grant from the MED PTA.
The cast from left to right: Kristyn Youngblood, Will Boyajian, Tim Liu, Cat Greenfield. Photo by Richard Lovrich