Friday, January 21, 2011

Preview: THE CARPETBAGGER'S CHILDREN at Ford's Theatre

Tonight Ford's Theatre begins performances of Horton Foote's The Carpetbagger's Children. In a series of charming, humorous and poignant vignettes, the play weaves a captivating tapestry of family secrets, small-town lives and private tragedies. At the center of the play are sisters Cornelia, Grace Anne and Sissie, daughters of a Union soldier who moved south after the war. The sisters’ bonds are challenged as they seek to preserve the family’s Texas plantation in an era of startling growth and change.
(Holly Twyford, Kimberly Schraf and Nancy Robinette photographed by Scott Suchman. Artwork by Gary Erskine.)

Perhaps most exciting about this production is the cast. Ford's Theatre brings together Nancy Robinette, Kimberly Shraf, and Holly Twyford. From the preview we attended on Wednesday night we could see that even though the play is a serious of monologues, the three actresses were fully involved in the story at all times. There may not be much in the script allowing them to play off of each other, but they make the most of what is there. The three women appear on a circular stage, surrounded by an expansive backdrop of blue and green and brown. There are a few stage items - a couple chairs, a table, some framed pictures, suggesting that the focus will be on the acting. It's a sure bet that Robinette, Shraf, and Twyford will be up to the task.


The Carpetbagger’s Children is part of Civil War to Civil Rights, a citywide commemoration marking the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War that also explores D.C.’s unique role in the civil rights movement. From Abraham Lincoln’s tide-turning elections and inaugurations to Dr. Martin Luther King’s soul-stirring “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C., has served as a powerful backdrop for catalyzing moments in the Civil War and civil rights movement. To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the war and to explore D.C.’s unique role in the civil rights movement, cultural attractions, historic landmarks, cultural organizations and historic sites throughout the capital region have joined together for a unique promotion, Civil War to Civil Rights.



The Carpetbagger's Children runs through February 13. For tickets and more information, visit the Ford's Theatre website.

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