by CARLY BUZZARD & JENNA HUFFMAN
Students of professors Jamie Marinis and Nick Reinhard’s classes took their peers on a journey through the evolution of the American Dream in Chisholm Auditorium as a part of Celebrating CulTUral Uniqueness week.
Both professors dressed as Alexander Hamilton- an ode to visiting original Hamilton Broadway cast member Betsy Struxness- in order to properly host the 12 skits performed. Within these skits the students acted, showed videos, and played music to represent each era’s historical importance, from Native Americans to the digital revolution.
The stereotypical American Dream has been the concept sold during the 1950s of a white picket fence, a big family, a dog, and a family car. However, the performances highlighted the evolution of the American Dream during each different era.
During one skit performer Caleb Frye stated, “My American Dream is to graduate college and get a good job.”
But the American Dream in the Civil War era showed a more “tumultuous time.” The country was divided by slavery but all dreamed of a peaceful America.
As the Industrial Age brought more wealth to families on the forefront, Americans became more eager to fulfill the American Dream.
“That is what we dream about here in America,” said an actor of the skit.
One TU student mirrored the dream of this age when he said his plan was to, “get rich or die trying.”
As the Industrial Age came to a close, the tide was turning and laws were changing. By the Roaring 20s, women had gained the right to vote and liquor prohibition laws were passed and repealed.
“Finally people’s dreams were being realized,” a character in the 20s skit said.
The audience was shown how to survive a nuclear bomb attack as they explored the Cold War era. During this time, Americans lived in constant fear of going to war.
Skits continued to the present day, and freshman Destiny Ward said, “I just want to be successful.”
One performer stated that success is the main goal in most people’s digital age American Dream, and that the American Dream is portrayed differently through the lens of different eras and generations. What was important to the Baby Boomers generation, such as marrying young, is not at the forefront of Gen Z’s goals.
Professor Reinhard left the audience with an encouraging outlook as he wrapped up the event saying: “The American Dream is whatever you make it.”