History Dinner Theater 2018-2019 Series

Download the 2018-2019 HDT Brochure Here!

Join the McCarl Coverlet Gallery for our fourth season of History Dinner Theater. Visitors will dine on a gourmet three-course meal of their choosing while they are regaled by the historic tales, music, poetry, and personal accounts of some of the most fascinating historic figures in the United States. This season, visitors will meet Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury; be regaled by the unsettling tales of Edgar Allen Poe; explore Christmas in the Great Depression with Eleanor Roosevelt; meet with some fantastically entertaining Civil War spies,
Elizabeth Ban Lew and Mary Elizabeth Bowser; and listen to stories of what life was like in the days of Shakespeare and Elizabeth.The series will run from September 2018 to April 2019 and brings a fresh and exciting approach to history in a way you have never experienced it before.

Buy Tickets Online!

Civil War Espionage

Friday, March 15, 2019,  6 pm to 9 pm

The Fred M. Rogers Center

All Ages Welcome!

Mary Elizabeth Bowser was born as a slave to owner John Van Lew, a wealthy hardware merchant. His daughter, Elizabeth Van Lew, and her mother freed her father’s slaves after his death in 1843. After the war began, Elizabeth Van Lew asked Mary to help her in the elaborate spying system she had established in the Confederate capitol. Despite Elizabeth being a staunch abolitionist and loyal to the Union, she was a prominent member of Richmond because of her father’s wealth and status. But her views and actions
(attending to Union soldiers at Libby Prison with food and medicine, in particular) earned her the enmity of her community. Elizabeth used this to her advantage — taking on a slightly crazy, muttering, slovenly personae that earned her the nickname “Crazy Bet” — to cover up her serious efforts to help the Union.

Ticket price includes a menu choice of one of the following selections:

Seared Salmon: Seasoned seared salmon steak.

Roasted Beef Tenderloin: Sliced beef tenderloin with Cabernet wine reduction.

Buy Tickets Online! Online Registration Closes March 11, 2019

From the Streets of Shakespeare to the Court of Elizabeth

Friday, April 26, 2019,  6 pm to 9 pm

The Fred M. Rogers Center

All Ages Welcome!

Historian Tames Allen appears in an authentic lower-middle-class Elizabethan costume that would be representative of the baker’s wife, the butcher’s wife or the candle maker. These are people who had a trade that was valued in their
community but didn’t necessarily own land. She talks about what these people ate, what they studied in school or apprenticeships, and what it was like to go to the doctor.

In the second part of this program, Tames changes into an authentic, 62-piece Elizabethan court costume with full makeup, assisted by one or two members of the audience. As she dresses, she describes each piece of clothing and its significance. Once fully dressed, she talks about the life and times in Elizabeth’s court. She focuses on the pleasures and duties of living at court, how marriage was for political gain and what it was like to attend the queen.

Ticket price includes a menu choice of one of the following selections:

Sun-dried Tomato Ravioli: Delicate pasta squares stuffed with sun-dried tomatoes and mascarpone cheese, served with
tarragon fondue.

Seared Chicken and Roasted Shrimp: Pan-seared chicken and roasted shrimp.

Buy Tickets Online!

All proceeds benefit the educational programming, collections care, and exhibitions at the Foster and Muriel McCarl Coverlet Gallery.

Seasonal Events and Workshops

call 724-805-2188 to register

School Programs

Info Sheet FINAL-1Info Sheet FINAL-2

The Foster and Muriel McCarl Coverlet Gallery would like to invite you to attend Woven into History, a history-based program for visiting classes of school children in grades K-6. Saint Vincent College is located in Westmoreland County, PA in the Laurel Highlands and is located an hour outside of Pittsburgh.

This program is funded by Museums for America, the Institute of Museum and Library Services’ largest grant program for museums, supporting projects and ongoing activities that build museums’ capacity to serve their communities. The cost to attend is $3.00 per child.

Woven into History uses the Gallery’s Foster and Muriel McCarl Coverlet Collection as a source of original artifacts for young students to learn from. As part of the program, students will have the opportunity to participate in hands-on creative processes to explore mid-19th century American life. Through these activities, they will discover the history of the coverlets and other American textiles and how they relate to their lives. It is our hope that students will begin to appreciate the many examples of folk art incorporated into the coverlet designs.

The 386 jacquard-loomed collection is one of the world’s largest of American “figured and fancy” hand woven coverlets. It represents the historic 19th century transition from commercial handloom weaving to mechanized factory production in America.

In school options are available as well as museum visits.To reserve a field trip or request more information, please contact us at your earliest convenience.
We look forward to hearing from you!


Scout Programs


Stitch it Together*
Scouts will participate in sewing activities such as an animal sewing card, embroidery, making quilt patches and discussing what it
was like to be a young colonial girl in America.

Listening to the Past
As the scouts tour the gallery, they will hear stories and play games from long ago.


Yarn and Fabric Arts*
The Girl Scouts will learn about the history of coverlets and experiment with weaving, stitching and dyeing techniques.

Folk Arts
In this program, scouts will have the opportunity to participate in multiple activities including drawing portraits and writing a short story from an old photograph, acting out a fairy tale, myth or legend. The scouts can also learn to make a quill pen and practice penmanship, participate in a stenciled
note card activity and learn about the history of the McCarl Coverlet Gallery.

Making Hobbies
Scouts will use materials such as nature, recycled materials, paint and paper to do various arts and crafts such as gift wrap and prints.

One adult is free for every four scouts.

Programs are $6.00 per scout, except for patches that require additional material. These programs are noted by an asterisks and cost $8.00 per scout.

Programs are subject to an eight scout minimum charge.

A deposit is required at the time of registration.