Reporter 1: In 1876, France announced it was giving the United States a statue honoring America's 100th birthday.

(Reporter turns to a man standing beside him)

Sir, I'm sorry, who might you be?

Pulitzer: I might be your boss. I'm Joseph Pulitzer.

Reporter 1: Thanks... and sir who are you?

Irving Berlin: I'm the composer, Irving Berlin. I set to music the verse that is inscribed on the base of the Statue of Liberty and wrote this song: "Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor."

Emma Lazarus: Well Mr. Berlin, I'm Emma Lazarus. I am the American poet who wrote the poem inscribed on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty, "The New Colossus." Share the credit sir!

Sing "Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor"

Music by Irving Berlin, words by Emma Lazarus.Order sheet music

(See YouTube below)

MC for Theater: Here, straight from New York, it's Tuesday night at the theater! Tonight we will be seeing a one act play - "The Lady With the Lamp" right in our own DC theater!

(Music, "New York - New York" as players get in place)

Drama: "The Lady With the Lamp"

This play ,"The Lady With The Lamp, The Story of the Statue of Liberty" was written by Lisa Blau.
Note: Lisa Blau has passed away, but her books are hard to find. Search for the book called "The Best of Reader's Theater Volume II (K-5).

Reporter: Wow! The Statue of Liberty truly is an incredible piece of art! Yes it is!

The building of our country was a tremendous undertaking. The people who immigrated to America from other countries played an important part in our history.

Sing: "When I First Came to This Land

This song by Oscar Brand was found in the book, "From Sea to Shining Sea" compiled by Amy Cohn.

(See YouTube below)
(We changed the 4th verse to "I called my wife to share my life".)

Reporter 1: I can't believe Irving Berlin is back to tell us more about himself!

Irving Berlin: I came here as an immigrant from Russia in 1893, and whatever success I have had as a song writer, I owe to this country. I wrote many songs, and one of my most popular songs was "God Bless America", which was introduced in 1938. I wanted to express my gratitude to this country that inspired it.

Sing "God Bless America"

This favorite is by Irving Berlin. "Order sheet music."

Reporter 2: Did you know? When people in other countries learned of opportunities in America, they began coming here by the thousands. So many people came to live here in our new nation, we got nicknamed the "melting pot." All these people came to America to find liberty and freedom.

Sing "Brown Eyes, Black Eyes".

This song by Janeen Brady can be ordered here in a book called Take Your Hat Off When the Flag Goes By. There is also an accompanying CD.

(Girl in pioneer dress comes on stage)

Katharine Lee Bates: I am Katharine Lee Bates, a professor in Massachusetts. I visited Pikes Peak in Colorado in the summer of 1893. It was a hard wagon drive, but the view was incredible! I enjoyed seeing the purple mountains, the green valleys, and the blue sky above it. It was then and there that the opening line of a poem floated into my mind.

"O beautiful for spacious skies..." And later I finished the verse.

Sing "America the Beautiful"

Written by Katherine Lee Bates and Samuel Ward. Order sheet music

Preacher Guy: The book of Psalms is a book of praises to God. Psalm 67 is a song of praise thanking God for guiding the nations of the earth.

(Reads Psalm 67 from the Bible, or all children can recite from memory)

May God be gracious to us and bless us

and make his face shine upon us;

May your ways be known on earth,

your salvation among all nations.

May the peoples praise you, O God;

may all the peoples praise you.

May the nations be glad and sing for joy,

for you rule the peoples justly

and guide the nations of the earth.

May the peoples praise you, O God;

may all the peoples praise you.

Then the land will yield its harvest,

and God, our God, will bless us.

God will bless us,

and all the ends of the earth will fear him.

Preacher Guy: Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord. Psalm 33:12

Would all the Veterans from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War and any military people who served please stand?

As a token of our gratitude and to help us know who you are, we have some small flags for you. We say, "Thank you!"

("America, the Beautiful" is played as the flags are passed out to the veterans who are standing.)

(The three MC's return to the stage)

MC1: Hey, guys, what a great time we've had tonight!

MC2: Yes, learning all about our wonderful country!

MC3: Wow! What a blast we've had!

MC2: No joke! Well, we had no millionaire winners tonight.

MC1: But we are all millionaires - living in America!

MC3: Freedom, liberty, and yes, the pursuit of happiness.

All three: We all thank you for coming to our program and we say to you........

All Children: God Bless America!


Patriotic Plays Index

"America: A Star-Spangled Production",
Part 1 America in the Making
Part 2 Stars and Stripes Forever
Part 3 The New Colossus
Review Questions
Print script
View costumes and hear songs

"Our Heritage of Blessings"
Print script