Robert H. Jackson Center
JAMESTOWN, NY– The Robert H. Jackson Center, a non-profit dedicated to promoting liberty under law through the examination of the life and work of Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson and its relevance to current events and issues, invited students, their teachers, and the public to experience history in a unique way. The Jackson Center brought Theatreworks USA’s Living Voices to present a total of six performances over two days, June 12 and 13, combining dynamic solo performances with archival film and sound, turning history into a moving and personal journey for audience members. Robert H. Jackson Center President Susan Moran Murphy made the announcement.
Two historical dramatizations, Through the Eyes of A Friend (about young people’s experiences during the Holocaust) and New American (about immigrants arriving in New York City through Ellis Island), were featured. The audience experienced a unique multi-media combination of theater, digital, and live interaction that created a high impact experience and unforgettable journey through history. Nearly 700 area elementary and middle school students and their teachers attended from Sherman Central School District, Jamestown’s Persell Middle School, Ring Elementary School, Fletcher Elementary School, Lincoln Elementary School, and Washington Middle School. The performances offered a unique opportunity for students, in particular, to understand Justice Jackson’s legacy by illuminating events in history that he directly impacted. Teacher Guides were made available to educators to facilitate discussion before and after the programs which address NYS Common Core subjects.
New American tells the story of a young girl named Bridget, whose first steps in America take her through Ellis Island to New York City’s Lower East Side. The program follows Bridget as she leaves Ireland, travels in steerage on a steamship, and faces the challenges of immigration and entry to the United States upon her arrival. Through the Eyes of a Friend tells a story of young people’s experiences during the Holocaust, through a fictional friend of Anne Frank’s who is a composite character inspired by the testimonies of individuals who knew Anne Frank or who experienced the Holocaust firsthand.
Responding to extremely positive feedback from educators, students, and others attending in prior years, the Jackson Center was pleased to bring back the award winning Theatreworks USA’s Living Voices program to Jamestown for a third year in a row. The performances at the Jackson Center were free and open to the public by advance registration through the Jackson Center’s website. They were made possible through the generous financial support of Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Board of Cooperative Educational Services, M&T Bank, and the following funds held at the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation: The Stanley A. Weeks Fund, The Kohl Family Fund, and The Isabelle C. Erickson Fund.
The Robert H. Jackson Center is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization that envisions a global society where the universal principles of equality, fairness and justice prevail. The Center invites and engages students of all ages, scholars, educators, national officials and international dignitaries to analyze contemporary issues of peace and justice through the lens of Justice Jackson’s body of work.