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Untitled Harrisburg / The Gettysburg Cyclorama

Written by Rich Copeland - Producer, Smart Talk | Jan 6, 2017 3:00 AM

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Untitled Harrisburg continues the tradition of oral story telling with quarterly storytelling and slam events at the Zero Day Brewing Comapny in Harrisburg.  On Tuesday, January 10th, they will hold a special event at the Mid-Town Cinema. Participants are encouraged to share experiences and anecdotes that follow a theme assigned to each event.  The stories are judged and a small prize awarded to the winner.


Caitlin Copus, Stuart Landon, Rachel Moore

Caitlin Copus, Rachel Moore and Stuart Landon of Untitled Harrisburg joins Smart Talk to talk about the events and discuss the social importance of sharing stories.

Also, in late June of 1863, Confederate forces marched into the city of York, Pennsylvania.  The soldiers demanded payment from the people of York, or face the destruction of the city.  This rebel invasion of Pennsylvania culminated in the Battle of Gettysburg, the deadliest of the Civil War.

Union Major General George Meade repelled Confederate General Robert E. Lee's foray into the North, turning the tide of the war in favor of the Republic.  Nearly 50,000 Americans from both the North and South died in battle.

Sixteen years after the battle, French artist Paul Philippoteaux was commissioned to create a painting documenting the events in Gettysburg.  More than a year and a half later, Philippoteaux presented the Gettysburg Cyclorama, a 377 foot, six ton, 360 degree painting depicting Pickett's Charge, the failed Confederate offensive on the final day of battle. 


The painting shows specific individuals engaged in the battle and details of events that the artist gleaned directly from veterans who fought at Gettysburg.  Its realism elicited tears in the eyes of the Confederate veterans who saw it.  It represented the greatest accomplishment of the Southern Army - it's farthest push into Union territory - as well as the resolve of the Union Army to protect the North.

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Sue Boardman / Chris Brenneman

Gettysburg Battlefield guides Chris Brenneman and Sue Boardman authored The Gettysburg Cyclorama, analyzing every detail of the painting and connecting them to the events of the Battle of Gettysburg.  They will join Smart Talk to talk about the Cyclorama and why such artifacts are important in preserving our history.


for Untitled Harrisburg:

- I'm a grad student at Penn State Harrisburg in American Studies. A lot of us in the program work with folklore - storytelling being a big part of it. It is exciting to hear about this event.

Please speak to the idea that storytelling can not only be a source of entertainment, but can inspire others through themes that promote community, or concern for a larger cause, etc.                        - Sarah, Chambersburg

- What constitutes a good story?  Good examples don't necessarily inform the less-skilled.  Here is a rant from the movie Trains, Planes, and Automobiles, when Steve Martin's character explodes at John Candy's character, that contains advice on what makes a good story:  

You know everything is not an anecdote. You have to discriminate. You choose things that are funny or mildly amusing or interesting. You're a miracle! Your stories have NONE of that...  And by the way, you know, when you're telling these little stories? Here's a good idea - have a POINT. It makes it SO much more interesting for the listener!    - Leonard


- Calling the audience qtips is ageist and it offends me, although, I am not a qtip. The story teller definitely attached preset characteristics to the people he called qtips as well.

The person telling the story should check his stereo types before perpetuating them and calling it story telling. He could have told the story without calling the people qtips and, if he was a good story teller, it would have been just as good.     - anon


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