March 4, 2010
Turmoil over taxation opens new Revolutionary City season
Williamsburg opens its award-winning street drama — The Revolutionary City — for a fifth season March 15. The new presentation includes a tense re-enactment of a potentially explosive confrontation over the despised Stamp Act of 1765. “The Next Disagreeable Thing” is the new opening scene in the two-hour presentation of “Revolutionary City: Collapse of Royal Government, 1765-1776.”
“Collapse of Royal Government” — presented Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays —chronicles growing colonial outrage as loyal subjects turn against their king and spark revolutionary ideas that divide loyalties – even within families – and compel Williamsburg residents to choose between monarchy and self-government.
The companion episode, “Citizens at War, 1776-1781” reveals the human dramas of revolution in war-torn Williamsburg. Guests follow the progress of the war as the town welcomes the Declaration of Independence, celebrates the Continental Army’s victory at Saratoga, endures occupation by traitor Benedict Arnold and his British troops, and sees Gen. George Washington prepare his army for the final siege of Yorktown. As both free and enslaved cope with the effects of war profiteering, rampant inflation and other hardships, they ponder their loyalties and what the future holds Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
Mondays offer “Building a Nation” which acquaints ticketed guests with both well-known and obscure 18th-century townspeople of Williamsburg as they pursue their lives against a backdrop of world-changing events. Guests meet and engage patriot leaders, visionary preachers and other residents as they shape a new society with the promise of liberty and prosperity for all its citizens.
Revolutionary City begins with “Get Revved!” an introduction for young patriots and their families that helps them know how to join in the action and become part of the story. In other times of the day, “Revolutionary Stories” provide the background to scenes in the Revolutionary City and encourage guests to explore other sites in the Historic Area.
The presence of native peoples in pre-Revolutionary War Williamsburg is reflected in the return of the Revolutionary Story, “So Far From Scioto” April 17 for a three-week run. “So Far From Scioto” chronicles the story of three young Shawnee emissaries who were brought to Williamsburg in 1774 as security to ensure compliance with a peace agreement that ended Lord Dunmore’s War in the Ohio Country.
As diplomatic hostages, the Shawnee delegation witnesses the turmoil and public outcry at the beginnings of the American Revolution in Williamsburg. Torn by homesickness, political uncertainty and their sense of honor to serve as security for the safety of the Shawnee people, they must consider a course of action.
The Revolutionary City and Revolutionary Stories trace the transformation of royal subjects to self-governing citizens by portraying real events and real people in the very places events occurred as they face conditions and issues of the time while drawing similarities to events and issues confronting citizens of today.
Admission to The Revolutionary City and its companion presentations is by a valid Colonial Williamsburg admission ticket or Good Neighbor Card.
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 guests interact with history through “Revolutionary City” – a dramatic live street theater presentation.
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 www.history.org.