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February 29, 2008

Revolutionary City® returns CW's Historic Area with new scenes, new revolutionary stories

The highly acclaimed outdoor dramatic presentation, Revolutionary City®, returns to Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area March 17 with new scenes, stories and events. The third season of Revolutionary City includes additional integrated events and programs that relate to the Revolutionary City – the award-winning interactive flagship program featuring stories based on research of true accounts and events that actually occurred in 18th-century Williamsburg.

Colonial Williamsburg’s “Revolutionary City” is a family-friendly, live, dramatic program that breaks the boundaries of traditional living history experiences. It covers the period of 1774 to 1781 through a combination of large-scale streetscape events and multiple simultaneous vignettes. The program creates a spontaneous real-time feel of Williamsburg during the years of the American Revolution. Guests take part in the everyday life of the city against the backdrop of momentous world-changing events.

The significant events that played out in Williamsburg were directly related to the establishment of the American republic and essential to the creation of our form of government. The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is committed to connecting 21st-century guests to the American Revolution in meaningful ways and, in doing so, contributing to sustaining the American experiment. These programs are based on historical research and accuracy. Momentous events of the colonial period happened in the very place where guests walk today. Streets come alive as the townspeople and guests participate in the dramatic events that led to independence, the creation of a new kind of society, and the winning of the war. This is the story of our struggle to become a nation—from subjects to citizens. “Revolutionary City” is a uniquely American story, presented where it actually happened.

Building a Nation!: The Transformation from Subjects to Citizens

“Building A Nation!” acquaints ticketed guests on Mondays 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. Begin the day with the Revolutionary Story of Alexander Purdie, the printer. A Scottish immigrant, Purdie publishes one of two Williamsburg newspapers and uses his newspaper to champion the patriot cause. “Building a Nation!” continues at 3 p.m. with a series of scenes that demonstrate the challenges for transforming a nation from royal subjects to citizens of a new republic. Patriot leaders illustrate the “Times that Try Men’s Souls.” The enslaved bemoan the prospect “That Freedom Ain’t for Me.” Martha Washington arrives in the capital city to demonstrate concern for the revolution’s wounded veterans. An enslaved Baptist preacher takes comfort in “Thy Rod and Thy Staff,” and a founding father “Looking Forward” envisions the future of the new republic.

Collapse of Royal Government: Affairs of the Heart Amidst Revolutionary Tensions

A Revolutionary Love Story will enchant many. This 18th-century Williamsburg Romeo-and-Juliet romance will take place on Tuesday, Thursdays and Saturdays. Amid families split apart by divided loyalties, Edmund Randolph courts Elizabeth Nicholas. Edmund, son of loyalist John Randolph and nephew of patriot Peyton Randolph, attempts to find a life together with Elizabeth, daughter of staunch patriot Robert Carter Nicholas. Their story begins at the Wig Shop at 10 a.m., continues at the Peyton Randolph site at 12:30 p.m. and concludes during the principal Revolutionary City presentation, “Collapse of Royal Government,” 3 - 5 p.m.

Citizens at War: Uncertainty For Both Free and Enslaved

Beginning April 21, the plight of abandoned slaves highlights “What Holds the Future?” during Revolutionary Stories at the Governor’s Palace on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday mornings. When the royal governor fled the city rather than face an angry populace, he left behind personal property, including furnishings and slaves. The enslaved staff ponders their future, knowing they will be sold at public auction by patriot leaders. Their story concludes during the two-hour afternoon Revolutionary City drama, “Citizens at War,” 3 - 5 p.m. Guests also follow the progress of the war as the town 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.

Revolutionary City At Night: Evening Activities To Complete the Experience

Evening adventures in the Revolutionary City at Night include programs that make connections with daytime programs. On Mondays and Wednesdays, explore “Revolutionary Points of View.” Tuesdays take a stand “In Defense of Our Liberties.” Thursdays highlight “Lady Dunmore’s Capitol Ball.” Fridays feature the strains of “Music for the Revolution.” Saturdays steal attention with “The Gunpowder Incident,” and Sundays headline “A Capitol Concert.”

Attendance at daytime Revolutionary City programs is by way of Colonial Williamsburg admission tickets which provide guests entry into program areas. Revolutionary City at Night programs also require a ticket.

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 tradespeople 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 daily 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