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October 17, 2008

Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt discuss presidential politics past and present at Colonial Williamsburg’s Kimball Theatre

George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt talk presidential politics during the program, “Mount Rushmore Speaks: Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln on the Election of ’08.” The program will be held 7:30 p.m. Nov. 1 and Nov. 2 at Colonial Williamsburg’s Kimball Theatre.

Each president discusses elections in general and what issues were specific to their elections. In addition, Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt will address events common to all of the represented time periods, including the economy, political clashes and national conflict. Guests will have the opportunity to ask questions in the program that features a press conference format.

Actor interpreters from noted museums will portray our nation’s presidents and include Dean Malissa of Mount Vernon as George Washington; Bill Barker of Colonial Williamsburg as Thomas Jefferson; James A. Getty of Gettysburg, Pa., as Abraham Lincoln; and James Foote of Sagamore Hill as Theodore Roosevelt. James Ingram of Colonial Williamsburg will portray Frederick Douglass, who will moderate the event.

A life-long resident of Philadelphia, Malissa has been a performer since childhood. As Washington, Dean has traveled from Arizona to Alabama from Michigan to Massachusetts and has even portrayed the nation’s first president in Beijing, China. He also has portrayed General Washington in several TV productions for the Discovery Channel, NBC, National Geographic Channel and the Showtime Network, appeared on CNN and in films for the U.S. Navy and for the National Flag Foundation. He has appeared at the White House, the Smithsonian, the National Archives, National Portrait Gallery, Independence National Historical Park, Valley Forge National Historical Park, the National Constitution Center, the Betsy Ross House, Liberty Hall and many historical venues throughout the original 13 states.

Barker first came to Colonial Williamsburg in the spring of 1993 to portray Jefferson in a film honoring Ambassador and Mrs. Walter H. Annenberg. He has continued to appear as Jefferson with The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation where he assists in the development of further Jefferson programs recognizing the 20 years Mr. Jefferson was associated the former Virginia capital as student, lawyer, representative and governor. He was cast as Jefferson in many different venues including the musical “1776.” Barker has performed as Jefferson at the White House, the Palace of Versailles and throughout the United States, Great Britain and France. He presented for Chautauqua, and has been featured as Jefferson in several magazines including Time, People, Mid Atlantic, Philadelphia, Southern Living, Reader’s Digest, and the Colonial Williamsburg Journal. He has appeared as Jefferson in programs aired on ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, CNN and C-SPAN.

Getty portrays Lincoln in one of two performances. During “Lincoln and His Leadership,” he has provided America’s top corporate and government leaders with insights into Lincoln’s leadership decisions. “A Visit with Mr. Lincoln” features homespun stories of Lincoln’s youth and recollections of his personal and political life. Getty’s voice represents President Lincoln on A&E’s “Abraham Lincoln: A Biography” and “The Assassination of President Lincoln,” as well as at the “With Liberty and Justice for All” exhibition at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich. He also portrays Lincoln in the Turner Network film, “The Ironclads,” and has narrated Aaron Copland’s “Lincoln Portrait” with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Cleveland Pops Orchestra.

Foote has been re-creating Theodore Roosevelt for 25 years. He has traveled the country as Roosevelt, performing at events like the commissioning of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt and appearing on national television. When he's not traveling, he volunteers at Sagamore Hill, Oyster Bay, N.Y., and makes appearances at schools and colleges.

Tickets are $12 for general admission and $10 for seniors and students.

Located in downtown Williamsburg’s Merchants Square, the Kimball Theatre is owned and operated by The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, the not-for-profit educational institution that operates the restored 18th-century capital of Virginia. The Kimball Theatre box office is open 4-9:15 p.m. For more information, contact the Kimball Theatre box office at (757) 565-8588 or visit

Established in 1926, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational institution that preserves and operates the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia as a town-sized living history museum, telling the inspirational stories of our nation’s founding men and women. Within the restored and reconstructed buildings, historic interpreters, attired as colonial men and women from slaves to shopkeepers to soldiers, relate stories of colonial Virginia society and culture – stories of our journey to become Americans – while historic trades people research, demonstrate and preserve the 18th-century world of work and industry. As Colonial Williamsburg interprets life in the time of the American Revolution for its guests, it also invites them to interact with history. “Revolutionary City®” – a dramatic live street theater presentation, is a 2008 Rand McNally Best-of-the-Road™ Editor’s Pick. Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s Web site at

Media Contact:
Penna Rogers
(757) 220-7121