Relive the Past, Today!

Kean University presents Liberty Hall 360

Campus News > Relive the Past, Today!
Relive the Past, Today!

Kean University reenacts the wedding of John Jay and Sarah Livingston for Virtual Reality Users.

Abigail Anne Rafael, Senior Editor

Kean University reenacts the wedding of John Jay and Sarah Livingston for virtual reality users.

Their wedding took place on April 28, 1774 at the Liberty Hall Estate in the Great Hall of the building. The building was created by New Jersey's first governor, William Livingston, in 1772. The site is located on Kean University's campus and is still maintained as a museum and a wedding venue. 

John Jay lived an accomplished life as a Founding Father, signer of the Treaty of Paris, second governor of New York, and the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. His wife, Sarah Livingston, was the daughter of Governor William Livingston. Together they had six children: Peter Augustus, Susan, Maria, Ann, William and Sarah.  

Although married life took place during the American Revolution, letter correspondents between the two show that they still remained in love and affectionate toward each other through the hard times.

The film project of their wedding is run mainly by the Michael Graves College and Honors History Program with contributions from the whole Kean community and Liberty Hall Museum. The purpose of the project is to share the historic marriage ceremony of John Jay and Sarah Livingston through the use of 360-degree video to give viewers the sense of being an actual guest at the wedding.

The ambitious film is the result of about 60 people. This total includes actors, production coordinators, script writers and developers, costume designers and Keanlift campaigners who helped fundraise over $5,000 for the project. 

The actress playing Sarah Livingston, Elizabeth Thorson, said, "I have always loved theatre, but thought I would have to put it aside to focus on my major and my career. However, the Liberty Hall 360 film allowed me to combine my major, history, with theatre —  essentially putting together those things that I am passionate about. Through the process, I met a lot of great people of different majors and careers. I was also able to work with the lead of my department and see first hand what a projected created by the history honors program was like."

Filming for the project began March 29 and the film is still currently being edited and constructed. Kean University waits in eager anticipation for the unveiling of the reenactment of the historic event.

To learn more about the project, visit the Michael Graves College website or follow them on Twitter @LibertyHall360.

about the author

Abigail Anne Rafael, Senior Editor

Abigail Anne Rafael is the Senior Editor for The Cougar’s Byte and first joined staff in January 2018. She is a communication major with a concentration in public relations. Abigail aims to inspire and motivate readers with her writing. After graduating from Kean, she hopes to work for a Catholic company to dispel mistruths about the Church.