HEARTLAND: The Civil War

Currently being created  is an important historical program and product. It will include a full two act script (the play premiered in summer of 2015); a video of the play (production took place in the summer of 2015, editing is being completed); as well as related educational materials to be completed by summer 2016.

For more information visit LEARN, the producing organization. www.lifetimeEd.org

CLICK HERE to see more about the  premiere theatrical presentation and cast. 

For recent updates on the video's progress click here: Updates

The work focuses on the communities of South Bend, Mishawaka and Elkhart, Indiana.The purpose of this project is to show the influence of the Civil War and its aftermath, both positive and negative, on the above municipalities and, by example, on other communities in the heartland. The effect of the Civil War on the region is much greater than most realize. The war touched all facets of people’s lives: family, social, economic, political, etcetera. This project will show the costs—the suffering and the loss of life—and the positive outcomes—the end of slavery and the preservation of the nation, as well as the growth of local industry and of these communities.

This dramatized history/docudrama follows the intersecting stories of eleven people, all residents of the South Bend/Mishawaka/Elkhart area.  Their stories begin before the start of the Civil War, and end in 1890. To read more about the characters click here: Characters.


The final project will contain five parts:

1. A theatrical script. The script involves metatheatre techniques (similar to “Our Town,” for example) through the use of narration, interaction with the audience and limited set and prop elements. The script is a docudrama. All characters are based on actual people but some actions, interactions, connections and experiences of individuals will be dramatized and fictionalized.

2. Theatrical premiere productions. Presented by Elkhart Civic Theater at the Bristol Opera House and at The History Museum in South Bend, Indiana by The Acting Ensemble during June and July of 2015.

3. A video of the play. Production, at the historic Bristol Opera House, Bristol, Indiana, was completed in June 2015. Final editing will be completed spring of 2016.

4. A visual presentation of historically important objects. This includes historical photographs and video clips. This will be used as the backdrop/set for the theatrical productions of the script.

5. Educational materials. Created to provide support for teachers and illustrate how the project can be used in an educational environment. Teachers will be able to use the theatrical production video as a stand-alone or as a model for the students creating their own theatrical presentation. The visual backdrop will also be available for teacher and other production use.