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March 10, 2009

"Revolution in the Streets" heralds the newest additions to CW's outdoor drama, The Revolutionary City®

Colonial Williamsburg’s award-winning street drama — The Revolutionary City® — adds new dimensions during the spring of 2009 with “Revolution in the Streets.”

In two new presentations, “Revolution in the Streets” provides background and context for the alternating episodes of The Revolutionary City, the daily two-hour interactive street experiences in the Historic Area that highlight Williamsburg’s important role in the American Revolution.

“All Cause of Danger,” the companion drama to “Collapse of Royal Government, 1774-1776,” is presented on Market Square at the Courthouse of 1770 at noon Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. The scene unfolds in late May 1774, soon after the townspeople have learned about the Parliament’s closure of Boston harbor in retaliation for the Boston Tea Party. Residents gather at the courthouse to learn that the House of Burgesses, their elected representatives, have drafted a protest of the Boston harbor closure. Heated debate erupts, pitting patriots who support the people of Boston and the Massachusetts Bay colony against loyalists who uphold the King and Parliament. Their debate is interrupted by the unexpected arrival of the royal governor, Lord Dunmore, unaware of the Burgesses’ protest. Residents are apprehensive about the royal governor’s reaction, to be revealed in the opening scene of “Collapse of Royal Government, 1774-1776,” at 3 p.m. at the Capitol.

“Blessings of Liberty,” a prelude to “Citizens at War, 1776-1781,” explores the tensions created by revolutionary fervor at noon Wednesdays and Fridays at the Courthouse of 1770. As residents anticipate the public readings of the Declaration of Independence in mid-summer 1776, zealous young patriots appear, bragging noisily that they have been vandalizing and destroying symbols of monarchy. Their next target is the offensive sign at the King’s Arms Tavern. Jane Vobe, the tavern’s proprietress, emerges from the crowd to confront the young ruffians about their wanton destruction of private property. A stormy encounter — with threats and counter-threats flying — ensues. “Revolution In The Streets” is presented at noon weekly Tuesday through Saturday beginning April 7.

Revolutionary City’s New Season Begins March 16

The spring season of The Revolutionary City — the engaging street theater experience that allows guests to follow their Revolutionary forebears’ transition from subjects to citizens and to connect those Revolutionary changes with issues facing citizens today — begins Monday, March 16, with daily performances beginning at 3 p.m. in the managed access area at the east end of Duke of Gloucester St.

Mondays offer “Building A Nation!” which acquaints ticketed guests with both well-known and obscure 18th-century townspeople of Williamsburg as they pursue their lives against a backdrop of world-changing events. Guests meet and engage patriot leaders, visionary preachers and other residents as they shape a new society with the promise of liberty and prosperity for all its citizens.

“Collapse of Royal Government, 1774-1776” chronicles growing colonial outrage as loyal subjects turn against their king and spark revolutionary ideas that divide loyalties – even within families – and compelled Williamsburg residents to choose between monarchy and self-government. The political divide even threatens a romance between Williamsburg’s own Romeo-and-Juliet. Collapse of Royal Government is presented Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

“Citizens at War, 1776-1781” reveals the human ramifications of revolution in war-torn Williamsburg. Guests follow the progress of the war as the town welcomes the Declaration of Independence, celebrates the Continental Army’s victory at Saratoga, endures occupation by traitor Benedict Arnold and his British troops, and sees Gen. George Washington prepare his army for the final siege of Yorktown. As both free and enslaved cope with the effects of war profiteering, rampant inflation and other hardships, they ponder their loyalties and what the future holds during the second episode of The Revolutionary City at 3 p.m. Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

“Revolutionary Stories” Returns In Supporting Role

“Revolutionary Stories” reprises a second year in a supporting role. “Star-Crossed Lovers” — a tale of 18th-century Williamsburg’s Romeo-and-Juliet, Edmund Randolph and Elizabeth Nicholas — offers a preliminary experience to its companion scenes in The Revolutionary City at 11 a.m. near the Wig Shop on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays beginning March 17.

Two consecutive episodes in the Governor’s Palace garden provide additional programs in support of The Revolutionary City on Wednesdays and Fridays. “The Challenge of Independence” showcases members of Virginia’s independence movement as they discuss the direction of the Commonwealth’s new government at 10:45 a.m. Royal Governor Dunmore’s enslaved servants ponder their fate following the governor’s abrupt departure under cover of darkness during “What Holds the Future?” at 11:15 a.m.

Sunday’s supporting role for The Revolutionary City is “Advice and Dissent,” featuring James Ireland, a Baptist preacher, who speaks of his own conversion, trials, temptations and eventual redemption in a time of political upheaval and revolution at noon near the Coffeehouse.

Get Revved! Enhances The Family Experience

The best in family experiences in The Revolutionary City is offered seven days a week in “Get Revved! Revolutionary City for Families and Patriots of all Ages.” Each day, a Revolutionary character provides families with a guide to the day’s experiences and how best to enjoy the dramatic presentations of the day.

The Revolutionary City and its companion presentations trace the transformation of royal subjects to self-governing citizens by portraying real events and real people as they faced conditions and issues of the time while drawing similarities to events and issues confronting citizens of today.

Admission to the Revolutionary City program requires a valid Colonial Williamsburg admission ticket or Good Neighbor Card.

Colonial Williamsburg’s Revolutionary City Programs 2009 At A Glance

The Revolutionary City

  • Begins Monday, March 16, 3 p.m. East End Duke of Gloucester Street
  • Mondays: “Building A Nation”
  • Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays: “Collapse of Royal Government 1774-1776”
  • Wednesdays, Fridays, Sundays: “Citizens at War 1776-1781”

    Revolutionary Stories

  • Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays: “Star-Crossed Lovers” 11 a.m. Wig Shop
  • Wednesdays, and Fridays: “The Challenge of Independence” 10:45 a.m. Governor’s Palace Garden followed by “What Holds the Future” 11:15 a.m. Governor’s Palace Garden
  • Sundays: “Advice and Dissent” noon near the Coffeehouse

    Revolution in the Streets

  • Tuesday through Saturday at noon beginning April 7 at the Courthouse
  • Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays: “All Cause Danger”
  • Wednesdays and Fridays: “Blessings of Liberty”

    Media Contact:
    Jim Bradley
    (757) 220-7281



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