Monday, August 13, 2012

"The CHOICE" - Our Thank You

Much thanks to all who attended the final 2012 showing of our War of 1812 Living History Event "THE CHOICE - Risking Your Life for Freedom" last Saturday.

This memorable living history event was written by Playwright Dale Jones of Making History Connections. Known for helping museums and historic sites offer meaningful programs and experiences that connect with visitors, he was able to create a dramatic production which perfectly conveyed the realities of Sotterley as a plantation during that tumultuous time period. His widely known work includes scores of museum theatre productions, including Scenes from 1837 at Conner Prairie and Old Sturbridge Village, interactive American Girl Doll plays for the Pleasant Company, and The Value of Life, for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. As Director of Interpretation, Baltimore City Life Museums, he produced museum theatre, living history and hands-on programs for over 200,000 visitors. He created hands-on walking tours for the Discovery Channel Store in Washington DC., and recently designed the living history interpretations for AASLH’s living history research project. We are grateful for the connection made with Dale Jones!

A huge thanks to an important Sotterley friend - Dawna Diaz, who directed "The Choice." Bringing a wealth of knowledge, talent, and an incredible level of dedication to our site, we applaud our long-time friend, Dawna. She is one of the people who has helped tremendously to change the face of Sotterley. As an outstandingly multi-talented volunteer, she has been involved in all aspects of the popular “Ghosts of Sotterley” for the past nine years. When not directing or performing on a stage, she can be found mediating or working her day job on base at Atlantic Test Range.

Helping to make this an authentic experience, we thank Leon Wiebers, award-winning costume designer. He has designed for operas, musicals, and theatre performances for the San Francisco Opera Center, English National Opera, Theatre du Chatelet in Paris, Getty Museum, California Music Circus, Portland Center Stage, and Seneca Theatre. He holds a faculty position at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, is a member of USA 829, and was recently awarded a Fulbright Research Grant to South Korea for the 2012-13 academic year.

Five amazing actors made "The Choice" come alive! Stephen Rumpf as John Rousby Plater; Shannon Ivanchev as Elizabeth Plater; Shemika Berry as Elcie; Jay Hunter as Peregrine Young; Eric Zabiegalski as Commodore Brown. The fear, conflict, anger, resolution - all of it - was palpable. To have this caliber of talent was, without a doubt, a significant part of the success of this living history event. The rave reviews have been coming from so many people who saw your performance. Applause, applause to all!

In FY2011, Sotterley was awarded grants from the Maryland Heritage Area Authority, the Maryland Humanities Council, and the Southern Maryland Heritage Area Consortium to create a living history script from Sotterley’s unique story of the War of 1812, as well as the costuming and props needed for the production. When the script and costuming were completed it was time to begin production, and Old Line Bank stepped forward to generously sponsor the production phase of this project. Due to the support from these organizations, Sotterley was able to tell our unique story about the War of 1812 and offer this event free to the public. Your Support Matters!!!

Missed the event that everyone is talking about? Or you made it, were completely wow-ed by it, and you really want to see it again? Great news: Our 2013 performance date has been set for Saturday, May 25th, 2013 to run at 10 & 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. Save the 2013 date!

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