Gordon in the News: last updated 02/24/2009

Filming The American Experience: Gordon Theatre Students Cast in WGBH's Television Production

February 23, 2009
Jo Kadlecek
Office of College Communications

WENHAM, MA-Theatre arts major Tori Cimino '09--who played the lead in Gordon College's January production of Our Town, set in the early 1900s--is about to step into history again. This time she'll play a Puritan for WGBH's television series on the history of religion in America.  
Cimino will join Gordon student Ben Drake '10 as well as several Gordon alumni as extras for the series as a PBS film crew shoots specific scenes Thursday, February 26, in Salem's Pioneer Village. Pioneer Village, along with Salem's Old Town Hall, is managed by Gordon College's Institute for Public History and History Alive! Gordon's professional acting branch, History Alive! produces the longest running show on the North Shore, Cry Innocent, and has been featured on the Discovery Channel, the Travel Channel, A&E, Nickelodeon, TLC, NPR, BBC, CNN and MTV.
Pioneer Village, built in 1930 to mark the tercentennial of Massachusetts, is America's first living history museum. The village sits on three acres of land and contains various examples of colonial architecture: dugouts, wigwams, thatched roof cottages, and the Governor's Faire House. Culinary and medicinal gardens, a saw pit and a blacksmith shop further interpret early 17th-century colonial life. It is also a perfect set for a contemporary television series on early American religion.
"While Salem is infamous for its 1692 witchcraft ordeal, the city also plays an important role in American religious, cultural and social history," said Kristina Wacome-Stevick '98, co-director of The Institute for Public History and artistic director for History Alive! "The opportunity we have to work with WGBH on American Experience is really exciting for our students. It's a show of highest quality and it does a terrific job of making history compelling to a general audience."
History Alive! also helped with the Pioneer Village production of two of four American Experience episodes of We Shall Remain, which premieres in April. Wacome-Stevick--who has cast and consulted for several television programs on Salem's local history including the Travel Channel, Discovery Channel, and History Channel-worked with producers recruiting cast members and coordinating location logistics and costuming for the television series. Gordon alumni Anne Colpitts '08, Liz Condon '07 and Steve Humeston '07 are among the actors who dress in period costumes and play villagers in the PBS series.
For more information, visit www.gordon.edu/public-history or contact the Office of College Communications 978.867.4752.

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Gordon College is a Christian college of the liberal arts and sciences on Boston's North Shore. The college offers majors in 37 fields and has graduate programs in education and music education. Leading the way in Christian college merit, Gordon is nationally ranked for its excellence in academics and its role in character building. These achievements recognize Gordon as one of the nation's top Christian Colleges .