La Plata students re-enact county history

La Plata students re-enact county history

La Plata High School students recently journeyed through history to help Charles County celebrate the March from Benedict and the War of 1812.

Theater students Andrew Keelan, Kacy Baldwin, Matt Neel, Marissa Keith and Baylen Caldwell re-enacted the Wedding of 1812 during the Celebrate Charles: March from Benedict weekend held Aug. 30 at Maxwell Hall. Students acted out the authentic, simple wedding ceremony of Dicandia Ireland Smith and Clement Dorsey on the steps of Maxwell Hall.

Students researched and rehearsed their characters and were fitted over the summer for authentic period costumes. The bride and groom, played by Keith and Keelan, also had their portraits painted by local artist Nicole Stewart. Organizers hung the wedding portraits in the entrance room at Maxwell Hall.

Baldwin portrayed William Hammond Dorsey, brother of the groom; Neel presided over the ceremony as the Reverend Mr. Benjamin Contee, rector of Trinity Parish from nearby Oldfields Chapel; and Caldwell played Rachel Keech, the wife of Philemon Keech, the purchaser of Maxwell Hall in 1812. Michael Callahan, environmental education assistant at the Nanjemoy Creek Environmental Center, was the narrator for the re-enactment.

A local representative of the U.S. Daughters of 1812 approached La Plata social studies teacher Michael Mazzeo to help coordinate the wedding re-enactment; Jennifer Joyner, theater teacher, recommended and worked with the students.

This event was part of The War of 1812 Bicentennial, A Star Spangled Celebration during the Celebrate Charles: March from Benedict weekend. The Crossroads of Hughesville Garden Club, the Ella Houck Holloway Chapter – Maryland State Society U.S. Daughters of 1812, and the La Plata High School Theater Class, presented the re-enactment.

Charles County Public Schools provides 26,500 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 35 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Pamela K. Murphy, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.

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