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Study Guide

The Tallest Tree in the Forest

The Story | Subjects | Creators | Art Forms | Enrichment Activities


Pre-show Activities

Lyrical Language

Students analyze lyrics of “Ol’ Man River,” from the musical Show Boat and draw inferences about the meaning of its passages and the character of the individual singing.

Bombs and Shields

Through a theater activity drawn from Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed students physically convey their attitude toward allies and antagonist.

Celebrity Media

Students examine how social activism and political affiliation can impact opinion toward celebrities and people in the public eye.


Post-show Activities

Keeping Your Enemies Closer

Using the Bombs and Shields activity from the Pre-Show activities, students examine the complexity of Paul Robeson’s life as he negotiated the relationships between those sympathetic toward him and those who were decidedly not sympathetic.

Activist

Students examine artistic license through the fictional conversation between Paul Robeson and lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II.

Robeson’s Twitter Account

Students speculate on Paul Robeson’s reaction to current events through the creation of fictional twitter account.