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Living the Experience

“Living The Experience” (LTE) is an Interactive Spiritual Underground Railroad reenactment, which educates national audiences about the Underground Railroad efforts in Lancaster County. This living history program uses the art of first person interpretation and interaction to teach its audience about conductors, abolitionists, and safe houses that operated during the Underground Railroad. The production actively engages its audience members from the start. Our visitors are described as runaways, who have found Bethel AME church as their safe haven and shelter. As the show progresses, the audience members are used to assist in the interpretation of the stories, such as, the African Methodist denomination and it’s position and assistance in the abolishment of slavery, the Christiana Resistance (1850 Fugitive Slave Law Act), Rev. Stephen Smith, and Thaddeus Stevens. LTE demonstrates the enslaved African’s faith and ingenuity through the use of Negro Spirituals that were used during the UGGR. Following the production is a buffet style meal indicative of the 1800s. A Q & A session is included during the meal, during which time, the encoded messages hidden in the Spirituals are taught and discussed. Additional UGRR information and interaction is shared during shows with school-aged children.

Visitor Information: Currently open to public.

Location: 512 E Strawberry Street, Lancaster, 17602

Contact Information: liveitbethel@aol.com

National Park Unit: No

Ownership: Phoebe Bailey

Location Type: Program

UGRR Operatives: Stephen Smith,Thaddeus Stevens