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June 5, 2009

Revolutionary fever swells as the Revolutionary City moves to cooler morning hours June 15

The fourth season of Colonial Williamsburg’s highly acclaimed outdoor dramatic presentation, The Revolutionary City®, moves to cooler morning hours (10:30 a.m.—12:30 p.m.) for the summer season beginning Monday, June 15 in the Historic Area allowing ticketed guests to follow their Revolutionary counterparts’ transition from subjects to citizens and to connect those Revolutionary changes with issues facing citizens today.

Mondays offer “Building A Nation!” which acquaints ticketed guests with both well-known and less celebrated 18th-century townspeople of Williamsburg as they pursue their lives against a backdrop of world-changing events. Guests meet and engage patriot leaders, a visionary preacher 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, 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 Revolutionary City Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

“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 10 a.m. in front of the King’s Arms Tavern on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

Learn how to get the best family experiences in The Revolutionary City by seeing “Get Revved! Revolutionary City for Families and Patriots of all Ages.” Offered seven days a week at 10:45 a.m. in front the Raleigh Tavern, a Revolutionary “host” dressed in colonial clothing provides families with an orientation to the day’s experiences and how to enjoy the dramatic presentations of the day.

Two consecutive episodes in the Governor’s Palace garden provide additional programs in support of The Revolutionary City on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. “The Challenge of Independence” showcases members of Virginia’s independence movement as they discuss the direction of the Commonwealth’s new government at 3 p.m. As they prepare to be auctioned by patriot leaders, enslaved servants of the former British royal governor ponder their fate during “What Holds the Future?” at 3:30 p.m.

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.

The Revolutionary City at Night connects guests with the daytime experience and extends the day’s entertainment into the evening. Separate tickets are required for each event.

“In Defense of Our Liberty” invites guests young and older to become the newest recruits to the Continental Army. Soldiers of the Virginia Regiment take you back to the American War for Independence where you will experience the lot of the common soldier. Enlist in the Continental Army; become a new recruit and see what it was like to be a soldier in the 18th century. Learn how soldiers lived, fought and, and survived an eight-year ordeal to become free and independent. As every good soldier, guests should be prepared for some physical activity as they experience how soldiers lived, fought and survived during the American Revolution. Program is held in all weather 7 and 8:30 pm Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays at the Magazine.

“Courage or Cowardice?” presents the story of a Virginia officer who was accused of abandoning his post in the face of an attack, leaving the town defenseless. Was he a coward or a traitor? Guests serve as a court of inquiry at the Capitol as they hear evidence, question the witnesses and cast their own votes. 7 p.m. June 15 and 22; 7 and 8:30 p.m. Mondays beginning June 29.
Admission to The Revolutionary City requires a valid Colonial Williamsburg admission ticket or Good Neighbor Card. Evening programs require a separate ticket.

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 guests interact with history through “Revolutionary City®” – a dramatic live street theater presentation.

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

Media Contact:
Jim Bradley
(757) 220-7281