A Division of William Francis Galvin, Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

History Re-enacted! “The Trial of Anthony Burns”

The Trial of Anthony Burns poster

Secretary of the Commonwealth William Francis Galvin, in collaboration with the JFK Presidential Library and Museum, hosted students from four Massachusetts schools for a special theatrical event to celebrate Massachusetts Black History month. The event featured Theatre Espresso's production of the "Trial of Anthony Burns.” The program also included UMASS professor of history, Dr. Julie Winch, who provided historical context to the students in attendance.

Theatre Espresso is a drama company that creates, produces, and performs interactive dramas that bring history to life for students, in order to foster a generation of critical thinkers and true citizens. "The Trial of Anthony Burns" was well received by over 200 students from The Jeremiah Burke School of Dorchester, MA, The Cambridge Rindge and Latin School of Cambridge, MA, The METCO School of Wakefield, MA, and The Excel Academy Charter High School of South Boston, MA. The production challenged students to think critically about the enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Law in pre-Civil War 'free states' at a time when Massachusetts was at the forefront of the abolitionist movement.