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Jefferson & Adams:
A Stage Play

Jefferson & Adams: A Stage Play

Screenplay by Howard Ginsberg, based on his award-winning original stage play.

Thomas Jefferson: Bill Barker, Colonial Williamsburg interpreter

John Adams: Sam Goodyear

Abigail Adams: Abigail Schumann, Colonial Williamsburg interpreter

Jefferson & Adams: A Stage Play, written by Howard Ginsberg and based on his original play, is the story of the turbulent 52-year friendship of Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Adams’ wife, Abigail.  Based on the collection of letters between these prolific founding fathers – and one equally astute wife – the play fuses compelling political thoughts with passionate personal beliefs.  By focusing on the unique relationship between the characters and the spirit of the time, the play reveals each of the three as thoughtful, persevering, dedicated, innovative, relevant – and human. 

The personal letters reveal the intense relationship between Thomas Jefferson, portrayed by Colonial Williamsburg interpreter Bill Barker, and John Adams, portrayed by Sam Goodyear, as their friendship ignites, flourishes, decays, and resolves itself. The ever-perceptive Abigail Adams, portrayed by Colonial Williamsburg interpreter Abigail Schumann, acts as a catalyst and motivator while steadfastly maintaining her own beliefs.  

Jefferson & Adams traces the period from the inception of the Revolution through the politics of two presidents to the wisdom of men who have lived long lives. It is both poignant and fitting that Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died in their respective homes on July 4, 1826 – the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

The DVD includes the 95-minute play and “The Making of Jefferson & Adams,” a 15-minute documentary with behind-the-scenes footage and an interview with the playwright, director, and cast.

Available through

Jefferson and Adams clip

Preview the trailer for the DVD

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Images from the DVD

Thomas Jefferson portrayed by Bill Barker

Thomas Jefferson, portrayed by Bill Barker

John Adams portrayed by Sam Goodyear

John Adams, portrayed by Sam Goodyear

Abigail Adams portrayed by Abigail Schumann

Abigail Adams, portrayed by Abigail Schumann

Thomas Jefferson (Bill Barker), Abigail Adams (Abigail Schumann), and John Adams (Sam Goodyear)

Thomas Jefferson (Bill Barker), Abigail Adams (Abigail Schumann), and John Adams (Sam Goodyear).