Foundation grant brings history to life at CEHS

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CAPE ELIZABETH — With funding provided by a grant from the Cape Elizabeth Education Foundation, high school students and interested residents are invited to watch a performance on the labor, civil rights and anti-war movements.

Actor Harlan Baker will perform a one-man show based on the life of Jimmy Higgins on Monday, Jan. 10, from 11:50 a.m. to 1:20 p.m. in the Cape Elizabeth High School Auditorium. “Jimmy Higgins: A Life in the Labor Movement,” is free and open to the public. 

The play will be used as a device to teach students about the labor movement period in the United States.  According to Ted Jordan, high school government and U.S. history teacher, it is both humorous and poignant.

“The character shares how these events impacted him, his family and friends. It therefore brings students’ understanding beyond simply competent understanding of this time period towards mastery of this history,” he said in a recent e-mail.

Another goal of this project is to bring students and senior citizens together. Jordan is working with Karen Allen of Community Services and Paula Banks of Two Lights Home Care to bring members of the senior citizen community to the performance.

Allen, adult education coordinator at Community Services, said there has been a very good response from the senior community. Nearly two dozen people have registered to attend the play, she said.

“It should be a very enjoyable afternoon for everyone,” she said. “People are looking forward to the event.”

Baker is an adjunct professor in the Theatre Department at the University of Southern Maine, a former member of the Legislature, a union activist and democratic socialist. He will portray Higgins as he is interviewed by a college student in 1960, recounting his job as a newspaper boy in Sandusky, Ohio, during World War I; his meeting with Eugene Debs and others opposed to American participation in World War I; his experiences in the Lafollette campaign for president in 1924, and his experience as a reporter covering the union organizing drives of tenant farmers and auto workers in the 1930s.

For more information on Baker and the play, visit

Amy Anderson can be reached at781-3661 ext. 110 or [email protected]

Sidebar Elements

Harlan Baker will perform “Jimmy Higgins: A Life in the Labor Movement,” on Monday, Jan. 10, at 11:50 a.m. at Cape Elizabeth High School.