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June 29, 2004

Armchair historians can beat the heat with CW's Summer Coolers

How many different ways can you experience history? Colonial Williamsburg’s 2004 Summer Coolers bring 18th- and 19th-century history to life through the people and the music of the times. All programs take place in the air-conditioned comfort of the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum’s Hennage Auditorium now through Sept. 3.

Whether you hear the soothing strains of the glass armonica, watch a former slave tell how she started a new life following the Civil War or listen to the story of Margaret Brodie Matthews, a tradeswoman who was married to a British spy during the Revolution, Summer Coolers offer a variety of entertainment options that will appeal to every member of the family. Programs include:

  • Fiddleworks! 2 and 3:30 p.m. Mondays, July 5, 12, 19, 26, Aug. 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30. Fiddler Dean Shostak, along with Kelly Kennedy (voice, piano, guitar) and Lance Pedigo (percussion), combine music, stories, songs and audience participation for a high-energy concert experience for all ages. Reservations are required. 45 minutes.

  • The Glass Armonica, 2 and 3:30 p.m. Tuesdays July 6, 13, 20, 27, Aug. 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31, and Thursdays, July 8, 15, 22, 29, Aug. 5, 19, 26 and Sept. 2. Hear the enchanting sounds of Benjamin Franklin's glass armonica performed by Williamsburg's world-renowned musician, Dean Shostak. This rare opportunity to experience the glass armonica combines an amazing and mysterious story with the music of Mozart, Saint-Saens, Rollig and others. This multimedia concert is a winner for all ages. Reservations are required. 45 minutes.

  • Soul of a Sharecropper, 2 and 3:30 p.m. Wednesdays, July 14, 21, 28, Aug. 4, 11, 18, 25 and Sept. 1. The abolition of slavery following the Civil War presented opportunity to some and brand new challenges to most. A former slave shares tales of hope and despair in this moving performance.

  • Women in Trades, 4 p.m. Friday, July 2 and 3:30 p.m. Fridays, July 16, 30, Aug. 20 and Sept. 3. Join the talented women from Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Trades Department who practice and preserve 18th-century trades for a discussion of the challenges they face as women pursuing what often are seen as men’s trades.

  • The Adventures of Margaret Brodie Mathews, 3:30 p.m. Fridays, July 9, 23, Aug. 6, 13 and 27. Join Janea Whitacre, journeywoman and supervisor of Colonial Williamsburg’s Fashion Trades, as she tells the fascinating story of Margaret Brodie Matthews, who worked as a Mantua (cloak) maker in Williamsburg, married a British spy, and was caught in the midst of the American Revolution.

  • A Conversation with Young Patriots, 2 p.m. Saturdays, July 3, Aug. 14, 21 and 28. Young guests and their families have an opportunity to talk with a Founding Father about growing up in Virginia before the American Revolution, how they were educated and what they did for diversion. Reservations are required.

  • A Conversation with the Founding Fathers, 3:30 p.m. Saturdays July 3, Aug. 14, 21 and 28. Talk to one of the nation’s Founding Fathers. Reservations are required.

  • Jefferson and Henry Debate the Right to Vote, 2 and 3:30 p.m., Saturdays, July 10, 17, 24, 31 and Aug. 7. Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry discuss the right of the public to contest the presidential election of 1796. Reservations are required.

  • Whoop and Holler! 2 and 3:30 p.m. Sundays, July 11, 18, 25, Aug. 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29. Join Carson Hudson for a history of the Virginia banjo from the 18th century to what today. Hear music played on reproductions of early banjos. Reservations are required. 45 minutes.

  • The Roots and Branches of American Music, 2 and 4 p.m. Sunday, July 4. Celebrate the diversity of American music with folk musician Bob Zentz. This concert, presented with a sense of history, humanity and humor, explores the origins of American songs and tunes, as well as the stories behind the musical instruments on which they are played. Reservations are required. One hour.

    An admission ticket is required for all programs. Reservations can be made at any Colonial Williamsburg ticket outlet, including the Wallace Museum Shop.

    Media Contact:
    Penna Rogers
    (757) 220-7121

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