FAIRMONT - Without their knowing, area students got a crash course in the arts, history and civics on Tuesday. And they simply thought they were getting out of class for a couple hours.
Elementary students from area schools converged on Fairmont Opera House to take in a stage show chronicling the settling of America.
The New Jersey-based theatre troupe Pushcart Players is touring the Midwest, bringing educational shows to school groups along the way.
Pushcart Players present “Let Freedom Ring” at Fairmont Opera House on Tuesday.
This year's production, "Let Freedom Ring," brought laughter and tapping toes to subjects such as indentured servitude, buffalo hunting, religious oppression and taxation without representation.
"It's a musical social studies show," said Rob Evanick, the troupe's stage manager.
The show features songs about two centuries of American history in the course of an hour, and the troupe offers teachers study material based on the performance to use back in their classrooms.
The troupe preformed "Happily Ever After" at the Opera House last year to rave reviews.
The Opera House typically presents two shows per year to area students, for the content and as a civility lesson.
"Not everyone, especially with gas prices, can drive up to the Cities to go to the Children's Theatre in Minneapolis," said Lynn Johnson, house manager at the Opera House. "They learn how to behave in a theatre."
Following the performance, students had the opportunity to talk to the actors.