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Students re-enact slavery case

November 17, 2008

A play documenting a young black woman's struggle for freedom in Indiana nearly 200 years ago will be presented at the Indiana Statehouse Tuesday as an educational tool for students.

The interactive drama "Bound for Freedom: the Case of Polly Strong" is based on the 1820 case Lasselle v. State, in which the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Hyacinthe Lasselle couldn't hold Polly Strong as a slave. The high court decided Lasselle's claim to Strong violated the prohibition of slavery in Indiana and set her free.

Dozens of students attending will become a part of the play by taking on the role of bailiff, judges, attorneys, and other production personnel. The experience is designed to transport the students into Indiana history.

The public is invited to attend the re-enactments of the play, which will be performed at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. in the Indiana Supreme Court courtroom on the third floor of the statehouse. The original script was developed by the Courts in the Classroom and the Leora Brown School in Corydon, with funding from the Indiana Bar Foundation.

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