By Lowell Swortzell. Based on the comedy classic by Tom Taylor.
Cast: 12m., 6w. (extras) . This unusual show depicts with historical and theatrical accuracy the performance given by Laura Keene and her company in Ford's Theatre the night President Lincoln was assassinated. It is partly the play and partly the events of that tragic night. At the exact moment Lincoln was shot, the play-within-the-play is interrupted—
The play is set in its historical context, starting in 1890 with a garrulous old night watchman who sets the scene, in a second flashback, as it was on April 14, 1865. This show became possible when the prompter's copy of Taylor's script, written in longhand and giving stage directions, was found in the New York Public Library's theatre collection. Many of the stage directions and information about the original production have been incorporated. Bare stage w/props. Approximate Running Time: 90 minutes.
Act I follows Laura Keene's company at morning rehearsal, preparing for that fateful evening.
Act II neatly picks up the play as it was being presented that night, with the cast pausing to bow as the president enters. The night watchman shows how it all happened when the shot sounded and what followed afterwards.