Documentary wins awards for NH high school, Bryan
July 09, 2009

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A documentary about the Scopes Trial, filmed by staff members of a New Hampshire high school with the help of Bryan College and historian Edward Larson, has received an Award of Merit and a WOW Award from the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH).The Timberlane team, from left, Eric Constantineau, Josh Silveira, Scott Strainge, and Brian Deveney.


Staff members from Timberlane Regional High School in Plaistow, N.H., traveled to Dayton, Tenn., in February 2008, to film interviews about the Scopes Trial and secure images for their documentary. The project, titled “Theatre On Trial–Inherit the Wind and the 1925 Scopes Trial, compares the award-winning play with the historical record, and includes interviews with scientists, historians and Dayton residents.


According to the AASLH, the Award of Merit is given to recognize outstanding efforts to preserve and interpret state and local history. Now in its 64th year, the AASLH honored 59 individuals and organizations with Awards of Merit.


The WOW Award is an additional recognition for an Award of Merit winner whose nomination is highly inspirational, exhibits exceptional scholarship, and/or is exceedingly entrepreneurial in terms of funding, partnerships, or collaborations, creative problem solving, or unusual project design and inclusiveness. Only four WOW Awards were presented in 2009.


Scott Strainge, director of humanities at Timberlane Regional High School and coordinator for the project, said, “When the Timberlane drama department produced Inherit the Wind, we wanted our students to understand the difference between the play and the Scopes Trial and to give them a deeper understanding of the event through a multidisciplinary experience that included Art, Language Arts, History, Theatre and Science.


“This project truly was a cooperative effort between our staff, Bryan College, and Dr. Larson. We appreciate the cooperation of the people at Bryan College, particularly Dr. Richard Cornelius, and their desire along with us to create a historically accurate, quality production.


“We will use Theatre on Trial as an educational resource at Timberlane and it will be distributed to other teachers through local, regional and national education conferences. It will also be broadcast in prime time on New Hampshire public television and, we hope, on public television across the country. We are proud of this truly unique collaboration between high school and college level institutions and look forward to sharing it with other educators across the nation.”