August 22, 2008
CW's Revolutionary City® enters fall season on Labor Day with new hours, revolutionary stories
The third season of Colonial Williamsburg's highly-acclaimed Revolutionary City® programs return to its autumn schedule beginning Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 1. The two-hour, outdoor dramatic presentation of interactive stories and events begins at 3 p.m. each day in the easternmost block of Duke of Gloucester Street nearest the Capitol. Ticketed guests are invited to follow their Revolutionary-era forebears’ transition from subjects to citizens and make connections between those Revolutionary changes and issues facing citizens today.
The seasonal change also shifts presentation times for programs that complement the Revolutionary City experience, including “Revolutionary Stories” staged mornings and early afternoons at the Governor’s Palace, the Peyton Randolph House and other Historic Area venues -- while Revolutionary City At Night provides evening enhancements to the guest experience.
The Revolutionary City experience begins with Building a Nation -- presented Mondays -- offering glimpses of the un-sung heroes of the American Revolution on whose shoulders the famous patriots stood. The oft-overlooked people of history – preachers, servants, tradesmen, Revolutionary War veterans, enslaved and free -- lived their lives, some heroically and some humbly, and endured the transition from subjects to citizens to build a new, self-governing nation.
Guests experience “The Collapse of Royal Government” Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays in the Revolutionary City as colonial outrage turned loyal subjects against their king and sparked revolutionary ideas that divided loyalties – even within families – and compelled Williamsburg residents to choose between monarchy and self-government.
With independence declared, but far from achieved, residents of war-torn Williamsburg faced a new set of concerns during “Citizens At War,” presented Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Citizens strive to survive the ravages of war, profiteering, rumors of war crimes and the British occupation of their city, then finally celebrate Gen. Washington’s advance on nearby Yorktown.
“Revolutionary Stories” offers several programs that add enjoyment and perspective to the Revolutionary City presentations. Guests may follow an enchanting love story paralleling Shakespeare’s “Romeo-and-Juliet.” Amidst families split apart by divided loyalties, Edmund courts Elizabeth. The son of loyalist John Randolph, Edmund attempts to find a life together with Elizabeth, daughter of patriot Robert Carter Nicholas. Other Revolutionary Stories bring guests into the 1776 debate over of Virginia’s Declaration of Rights and a new constitution for the Commonwealth, and the plight of slaves at the Governor’s Palace, abandoned by the royal governor when he fled the city under cover of darkness, who are left to ponder an uncertain future.
Revolutionary City programs are designed to provide timeless parallels between the lives of modern Americans and corresponding 18th-century events and issues. The Revolutionary City experience portrays the years 1774-1781 when the townspeople of Williamsburg progressed from subjects to citizens amidst momentous, world-changing events. It is a uniquely American story, presented where the events actually happened.
A Colonial Williamsburg general admission ticket, a Good Neighbor pass, or a College of William and Mary ID continues to serve as a passport to the Revolutionary City experience for entry into restricted-access program areas. Revolutionary City at Night programs also require specific program tickets.
Established in 1926, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational institution that preserves and operates the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia as a town-sized living history museum, telling the inspirational stories of our nation’s founding men and women. Within the restored and reconstructed buildings, historic interpreters, attired as colonial men and women from slaves to shopkeepers to soldiers, relate stories of colonial Virginia society and culture – stories of our journey to become Americans – while historic trades people research, demonstrate and preserve the 18th-century world of work and industry. As Colonial Williamsburg interprets life in the time of the American Revolution for its guests, it also invites them to interact with history. “Revolutionary City®,” a dramatic live street theater presentation, is a 2008 Rand McNally Best-of-the-Road™ Editor’s Pick. Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s Web site at www.history.org.