America's Got Talent (1855)
School Exhibition! Shelburne Falls, MA: George Mirick, 1855.
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School performances provided an opportunity for students to display what they were learning in class and also provided some welcome winter time entertainment for the community. This program from a school exhibition in the Western Massachusetts town of Charlemont is typical of the sort of evening teachers would prepare and included oration, music, and drama. The students at Charlemont also prepared a scene from Charles Dickens' Pickwick Papers, and another from Richard Sheridan's The Rivals, displaying a distinct favoritism for British authors, both traditional and contemporary.