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The Heavens Are Hung in Black
The Heavens Are Hung in Black
"The work invites an audience to a fuller appreciation of the tortured spirit of the man, given the joyless times he had to endure." —The Washington Post

"In his meticulous research, [Still] relays the strategic points and counterpoints of Lincoln's quandaries with clear and present urgency … Still has a way of weaving epic history with the everyday moment." —DC Theatre Scene

"Suspenseful, chilling, honest, and thought-provoking … Still's Lincoln is a man at the end of his rope. A man any blue collar worker can relate to." —Indianapolis City Finder
Drama. By James Still.

Cast: 10 to 18m., 2 to 3w., 2 boys, extras as desired. Focusing on the theatricality and humanity of Lincoln's second year in the White House (1862), The Heavens Are Hung in Black is a fevered, emotional epic about a U.S. president who read the Book of Job and the plays of Shakespeare, had the saddest face ever painted, openly wept in public, and led this country in a war that we're still fighting today. We see everything through Lincoln's eyes and his haunted dreams: his treatment by his friends and enemies; his relationship with his troubled wife; their grief over the death of their young son; and Lincoln's moving and very public agony over the bloody losses of a war that seems to have no end. Commissioned by and premiered at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C. Unit set. Approximate running time: 2 hours, 15 minutes.

Notes
"To the artists doing my play: approach HEAVENS aggressively... it is meant to be theatrical and bold. The characters are certainly real and their humanity should shine through—and simultaneously they should remember the circumstances of the play. It's about passion, about people who are fighting for their lives (even in death, in terms of the ghosts). Don't think of the play as 'history'—the characters in the play weren't living their lives as though they were making history; they were simply trying to survive, to win the ongoing arguments about how things would turn out for our country in 1862.

I find that when actors approach the play with passion, then pace takes care of itself. Be real, be bold, be passionate. Fight for your life." —James Still, author.
Play details
Status:  In Stock
Type of show:  Full-Length
Catalog Code:  HC2
No. of Act(s):  2
Pages:  127
Royalty:  $75.00 /perf.*
Cost:  $8.95
Approx. Running Time:  135 min.
Categories
Target Audience: High School | College and Adult
Performing Group: High Schools | College Theatre | Community Theatre | Stock & Lort
Genre: Drama
ISBN (10): 1583427686
Biographies
James Still's award-winning plays have been produced at theatres throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Japan, China and Australia. He is the playwright-in-residence at the Indiana Repertory Theatre, artistic affiliate with American Blues in Chicago, a winner of the William Inge Festival's Otis Guernsey New Voices in American Theatre Award, the Medallion for Sustained Achievement from the Children's Theatre Foundation ...More
Rights & Availability
This title can only be licensed/sold in the U.S. and Canada
* Please note that royalties quoted in our catalog are intended for K-12 schools with a standard curriculum only. All other producing groups must submit a completed application.


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