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Inside the Artist’s Studio: Drummer Boys, “Battledrum,” the Civil War

from Educate.Today

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How do you take the world of Civil War drummer boys and create a compelling and meaningful stage production that is also historically accurate? To find out the answer to this question and more we invite you to meet the directors, designers, and actors from Metro Theater Company and historians from the Missouri Historical Society who are taking on that challenge with the play, “Battledrum.” For both programs, join us live from the auditorium of the Missouri History Museum where the production will take place.

Both the January 5 and 12 programs will include a tour of the set, question and answers with the director and actors, performance of a short scene from the play, examples of drummer boy drills used both by soldiers as well as in the production, and video showing elements of the Missouri History Museum’s new exhibition, “The Civil War in Missouri.”

The January 12 program will also include the unique opportunity for students to interact with Doug Cooney, playwright of “Battledrum.” Thus, in addition to the opportunity to meet the actors, designers and historians involved with the production, students will be able to ask questions of the playwright himself about his writing process in general as well as about his creation of this particular play. For this January 12 program, part of the preparatory materials will include a segment from the play for students to read in advance to help them develop questions for Mr. Cooney.

How To View the Program:
People can join the program live in any of three ways:

1. Via videconference--We have interactive and view only videoconference slots available for student groups to join the program. Groups interested in connecting this way will need a videoconference unit at their facility, and we would need to test your connection with our bridge at MOREnet ahead of the program using the IP address you'd use to connect on the program day. Interactive slots get face to face question and answer time with the program guests; view only slots can e-mail questions and comments during the program to These slots are limited so early enrollment is highly recommended.

2. Via Internet--All our HEC-TV Live! programs are streamed live via the station website,, on the program day. Just go to our home page at the program time and the program will run on that page. Since many schools limit streaming video through their firewalls, we recommend testing your ability to view the stream prior to the program by watching one of HEC-TV’s archived programs at We also recommend viewing the program live on one computer only and connecting that computer to a television, digital projector, or smart board for classroom viewing. Viewers can e-mail their questions and comments during the program to us at To receive curriculum materials designed to help you prepare your students for the program, just e-mail us prior to the program at

3. Via Television--All our programs are available in the St. Louis metropolitan area on HEC-TV, Charter Communications digital channels 989 or 118-26. All our programs can also be seen on AT&T’s U-Verse channel 99. Students viewing in this way can e-mail their questions during the program to To view the show live on the program day, just turn on your TV to the appropriate channel.

For Internet and TV viewing, there is no enrollment deadline date. We would appreciate knowing the time of the program you are watching and the grade level and amount of students involved so we can forward that information to our program partners. Such information is extremely helpful in securing funding for more free, interactive, educational programs in the future. To let us know you’re viewing the program or to answer any additional questions about the program, please contact us at

Archival Viewing:

Can’t join us live? No problem! All HEC-TV Live! programs are archived on the station website, and on the HEC-TV page on iTunesU for on-demand viewing at any time. Archives are usually up and running about a week after the program's original air date.

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About This Program


Multipoint: $0.00
View Only: 0.00


There is NO CHARGE for this program.


60 minutes

Target Audience

Education: Grade(s) 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Minimum participants:

There is no minimum number required for participation.

Maximum participants:

For optimum interactivity, we recommend no more than two clases combined.

Primary Disciplines

Fine Arts, Performing Arts

Program Delivery Mode

Videoconference - H.323 (Polycom, Cisco/Tandberg, LifeSize, etc...)

Booking Information

Sorry, this program is not currently available. To inquire about future availability, please contact Educate.Today

Receive this program and 9 more for one low price when you purchase the CILC Virtual Expeditions package. Learn more

For more information contact CILC at (507) 388-3672

Provider's Cancellation Policy

Since there may well be a waiting list for interactive participation, we ask that you let us know of your need to cancel as soon as you know.

About This Provider

Content Provider logo



St Louis, MO
United States

Student and educator focused and standards-based, our interactive programs, videos and related curriculum resources authentically link students and the curriculum they study to individuals and organizations who are applying that curriculum in the real world. We offer on-demand interactive programs whose content and time frame are designed to best meet your students’ learning needs.

Helen Headrick

Program Details


The program will focus on the production elements needed to bring Metro Theatre Company’s current production of “Battledrum” to life. Participants will view a scene from the play, see the set, lights and costumes, and interact with the professionals who have done the work. Students will have many opportunities to offer their ideas and ask questions of the theatre professionals throughout the program. The videoconference program will consist of the following segments.

1. Welcome and Introduction—Student groups and experts will be introduced and welcomed to the program.

2. Historic Context of the Play—Important information about drummer boys and the role they played in Civil War battles will be discussed. Students will view video of the Missouri History Museum’s current exhibition, “The Civil War in Missouri” and ask questions of historians about the time period.

3. Dramatic Context of the Play—Important elements of the style and structure of the play will be explored as we create a context for the technical choices made for this current production of “Battledrum.” Students will see examples of those choices as they tour the set, see costume and lighting design choices and ask their questions of the director and designers.

4. Performance of a Scene—Students will watch a scene from the play as it will be staged by Metro Theater Company. Students will be able to ask questions of the actors and director about the scene, the nature of being a professional theatrical actor and director, and other topics of their choice.

5. Closing Segment--Including summary of topics discussed and final questions from students.

Special Note: During the January 12 program only, an additional segment will be added to the agenda as students will be able to meet and ask questions of the playwright of “Battledrum,” Doug Cooney,


1. The participant will explore the process of staging a play from its selection through casting and design development to rehearsal, construction and implementation of technical elements, and performance.
2. The participant will engage in a discussion about the collaboration necessary to successfully stage a production and explore choices made by those collaborators involved in producing, directing, acting, and technically designing (lights, costumes, scenery) Metro Theater Company’s production of “Battledrum.”
3. The participant will interact with professional theatre performers and technicians, watch a scene in performance, and engage in critical evaluation of the script, characterization, direction, and technical elements.
4. The participant will interact with historians knowledgeable in the Civil War subject matter of the play and view artifacts related to that subject.

Standards Alignment

National Standards

Featured National Standards:

English/Language Arts

Standards Developed by International Reading Association and National Council of Teachers of English
2. Students read a wide range of literature from many periods in many genres to build an understanding of the many dimensions (e.g., philosophical, ethical, and aesthetic) of human experience.
3. Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts. They draw on their prior experience, their interactions with other readers and writers, their knowledge of word meaning and of other texts, their word identification strategies, and their understanding of textual features (e.g., sound-letter correspondence, sentence structure, context, and graphics).
8. Students use a variety of technological and information resources (e.g., libraries, databases, computer networks, and video) to gather and synthesize information and to create and communicate knowledge.
11. Students participate as knowledgeable, reflective, creative, and critical members of a variety of literacy communities.
12. Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information).


NA 5-8.3 Designing by developing environments for improvised and scripted scenes
Students analyze improvised and scripted scenes for technical requirements

NA5-8.7 Analyzing, evaluating, and constructing meanings from improvised and scripted
scenes and from theatre, film, television, and electronic media productions
Students articulate and support the meanings constructed from their and others' dramatic
Students use articulated criteria to describe, analyze, and constructively evaluate the
perceived effectiveness of artistic choices found in dramatic performances

NA 9-12.2 Acting by developing, communicating, and sustaining characters in
improvisations and informal or formal productions
Students analyze the physical, emotional, and social dimensions of characters found in dramatic texts from various genres and media

NA 9-12.3 Designing and producing by conceptualizing and realizing artistic interpretations for informal or formal productions
Students analyze a variety of dramatic texts from cultural and historical perspectives to determine production requirements

NA9-12.5 Researching by evaluating and synthesizing cultural and historical
information to support artistic choices
Students identify and research cultural, historical, and symbolic clues in dramatic
texts, and evaluate the validity and practicality of the information to assist in
making artistic choices for informal and formal productions

NA9-12.7 Analyzing, critiquing, and constructing meanings from informal and formal theatre, film, television, and electronic media productions
Students articulate and justify personal aesthetic criteria for critiquing dramatic texts and events that compare perceived artistic intent with the final aesthetic achievement
Students analyze and critique the whole and the parts of dramatic performances, taking
into account the context, and constructively suggest alternative artistic choices

State Standards

Featured State Standards (Missouri):
Schools from across the country are invited to join in the program. Missouri state standards are provided for Missouri schools since partial funding for this program comes from various Missouri organizations.

Communication Arts Grade Level Expectations
1H: Apply post-reading skills to comprehend and interpret text
• question to clarify
• reflect
• analyze
• draw conclusions
• summarize
• paraphrase

1I Compare, contrast, analyze and evaluate connections between
• information and relationships in various fiction and non-fiction works
• text ideas and own experiences
• text ideas and the world by analyzing the relationship between literature and its historical period and culture

2C Use details from text to analyze character, plot, setting, point of view and development of theme


GLE: PP1B8.9-12 Develop and apply skills to communicate ideas through theatrical performances—Acting
Use basic terms of theatre
Use advanced terms of theatre

GLE: PP1D9-12 Develop and apply skills to communicate ideas through theatrical performances—Directing
Evaluate the director’s role in creating a production

GLE: EP1B7.8.9-12 Select and apply theatrical elements to communicate ideas through the creation of theatre—Acting
Identify cue, notes, on/off book, cheat/open out, and cold-reading
Identify ensemble and polish ensemble work
Identify centering, counter-cross, upstaging, emotional memory, motivation,
obstacle, objective, tactic, action, pitch, rate, phrasing, volume, tempo,
quality, and prepared audition

GLE: EP1B7.8.9-12 Select and apply theatrical elements to communicate ideas through the
creation of theatre—Design and Technical Theatre
Identify technical elements of theatre to represent time and place, establish
character, enhance mood and create dramatic environments for improvised
or scripted scenes
Identify and apply stagecraft skills

GLE: EP1D9-12 Select and apply theatrical elements to communicate ideas through the creation of theatre—Directing
Define the director’s responsibility to the author’s intent, script, actors, designers,
technicians and the audience
Identify the director’s role in creating a production
Identify the skills necessary to block a scripted scene

GLE: AP1A7.8.9-12 Develop and apply skills to explain perceptions about and
evaluations of theatre and theatrical performance—Analysis and Evaluation
Define the terminology and process of evaluation and apply this process to
performances using appropriate theatre vocabulary

GLE: AP1B9-12 Develop and apply skills to explain perceptions about and evaluations of theatre and theatrical performance—Personal Preferences
Articulate, justify and apply personal criteria for critiquing dramatic texts and

GLE: HCC2A7.8 Develop and apply skills necessary to understand cultural diversity
and heritage as they relate to theatre—Cultural Diversity and Heritage
Examine and compare characteristics of theatrical works from various cultures throughout history

GLE: HCC2B7.8.9-12 Develop and apply skills necessary to understand cultural
diversity and heritage as they relate to theatre—Careers
Compare and contrast selected occupations in theatre