October 15, 2001
CW presents two performances of the nationally acclaimed
"Jefferson & Adams" traces the remarkable and tumultuous 50-year friendship between Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. The play, written by Howard Ginsberg and performed around the country, will be presented, in conjunction with the Jefferson Legacy Foundation, in Colonial Williamsburg’s newly renovated Kimball Theatre in Merchants Square at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25 and 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28. It focuses on both the intersections and divergences in the lives and beliefs of these two "Founding Fathers" until the year of their deaths. Adam’s perceptive and articulate wife
Abigail is the third character in the play.
In a remarkable coincidence, both men died July 4, 1826, exactly 50 years
after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The story is constructed
from the voluminous correspondence between these two statesmen that discusses
the events that shaped the new nation and world as well as reveals the
serious political disagreements that almost destroyed their friendship.
Excerpts from the letters are woven into a compelling script, full of
rich, poignant and prophetic language indicative of the characters’ keen
intellect, strong convictions, dedication to their country and devotion
to their families. The heart-felt dialogue reveals the essence and vicissitudes
of the characters and communicates both the spirit of the time and the
enormously pivotal events that shaped American, world and human history.
The Leatherstocking Theatre Co. in Cooperstown, N.Y., produced "Jefferson
& Adams"six years ago. It marked the re-opening of historic Hyde
Hall and ran for 14 performances to sold-out houses, and again for seven
sold-out performances during the summer of 2000.
Ginsberg has written 15 other plays including "Murder in Paris,"
"The Red Nude" and "My Matisse."
Colonial Williamsburg’s own Bill Barker, who has portrayed Jefferson
at the Foundation since 1993, will portray Thomas Jefferson. Sam Goodyear
first performed the role of John Adams in the 1995 premiere production
of Ginsberg’s "Jefferson & Adams" at the Leatherstocking
Theatre Co. Abigail Schumann, who portrays Abigail Adams, has been a company
member of Colonial Williamsburg’s 18th-century play series
Admission for the play is $12 for adults, $9 for youth 6 –17 and $5 for
children six and younger. Tickets can be purchased at any Colonial Williamsburg
ticket office. For more information, call toll-free (800) HISTORY.
The Jefferson Legacy Foundation, based in Ripton, Vt., is non-profit,
non-partisan organization dedicated to inspiring participation in public
affairs in the spirit of Thomas Jefferson’s life thoughts and ideas.
Lorraine C. Brooks