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August 26, 2005

"We Hold These Truths" brings the Declaration of Independence to life through the spoken word

Scholars believe that the Declaration of Independence was meant to be spoken, not just read. A 15-minute movie, “We Hold These Truths,” now showing at Colonial Williamsburg’s DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, features the Declaration of Independence as performed by a roster of well-known American actors. The movie is included with museum admission.

In “We Hold These Truths,” the historic document is read by several television and motion picture performers, including Kathy Bates, Benicio del Toro, Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman, Mel Gibson, Whoopi Goldberg, Graham Greene, Ming-Na, Edward Norton, Winona Ryder, Kevin Spacey and Renee Zellweger.

“This film is a poignant reminder that the Declaration of Independence is as relevant to citizens in the 21st century as it was to colonists in the 18th century,” said Ronald L. Hurst, Carlisle H. Humelsine curator and Colonial Williamsburg’s vice president for museums. “The Declaration of Independence illustrates the birth of a democracy, which is the heart of our program in Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area and museums.”

“We Hold These Truths” can be seen in the Hennage Auditorium on the following dates:

Through Sept. 3

  • Mondays, 11 a.m., 12:15 and 3:15 p.m.;
  • Tuesdays, 11 a.m., 12:15 and 12:45 p.m.;
  • Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m., 12:15, 1:15 and 2:15 p.m. (except Aug. 31);
  • Thursdays, 11 a.m. and 12:15, 1 and 3 p.m.;
  • Fridays, 12:15, 2 and 5 p.m. (The 5 p.m. show will not be offered Sept. 2); and
  • Saturdays, 12:30, 1, 4:30 and 5 p.m.

    Sept. 4-30

  • 12:30, 1 and 5:45 p.m. daily;
  • Monday, Friday and Sunday, 3:15 p.m.;
  • Monday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 4:30 p.m.; and
  • Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 5:15 p.m.

    On Sept. 3, 12:30 and 1 p.m. showings will be cancelled. Only a 5:45 p.m. show will be
    offered Sept. 17 and only 12:30, 4:30, 5:15 or 5:45 p.m. shows will be offered Sept. 18. On Sept. 30, 12:30 and 1 p.m. shows will be offered.

    The schedule is subject to change without notice. Guests should refer to “This Week” for an updated schedule of show times.

    “We Hold These Truths” was filmed July Fourth, 2001, the 225th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, at Independence Hall in Philadelphia. Television producer Norman Lear produced this movie as part of the Declaration of Independence Road Trip, a non-profit, nonpartisan project that took an original copy of the Declaration on a three-and-a-half-year tour across the United States to inspire Americans to participate in civic activism.

    The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s award winning DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, supported by the DeWitt Wallace Fund for Colonial Williamsburg, displays the Foundation’s exceptional collection of British and American decorative arts. Entered through the reconstructed Public Hospital of 1773, the museum is on Francis Street near Merchants Square and is open daily 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Admission is included in any multi-day Colonial Williamsburg admission ticket or separate museums ticket. For program information call (757) 220-7724.

    Media Contact:
    Penna Rogers
    (757) 220-7121

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