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April 11, 2003

Colonial Williamsburg's New Evening Program is Just What the Doctor Ordered

One of Britain’s exports to the colonies was the love of fine arts. The London Company of Comedians, an 18th-century theater troupe that traveled to Williamsburg, regaled the colonists with the finest in British theater productions. Colonial Williamsburg’s theatrical interpretation department marks the 250th anniversary of the company’s first visit to the colonies with a revival of one of their plays, “The Anatomist.” “This was the very first play performed by the first professional actors in the colonies and was performed at the opening night of their first performance,” said Diane Elliott, manager of theatrical interpretation.

Written by Edward Ravenscroft in 1696, “The Anatomist” is a farce that displays some of the fears of its day about doctors in a lighthearted manner. The play reveals the tale of a bungling physician, Monsieur Le Medicin, and the imposter who takes his place. This story is intertwined with the secret marriage of the doctor’s daughter, Angelica, to a student, Young Gerald, who her father deems unsuitable, and the servants who help cover up the union.

The 18th-century play debuted Saturday, March 29 and can be seen Thursday, April 24 and Saturday, April 12, April 19, May 3, May 24 and June 7. All performances will be held at 8 p.m. at the Williamsburg Lodge.

Other Colonial Williamsburg 18th-century programs offered in 2003 include concerts, colonial dancing, walking tours, comedies and dramas. Programs include: musical and dance programs, “A Capitol Harpsichord Concert,” “Capitol Concert,” “Colonial Music Tour” and “Dance, Our Dearest Diversion”; the 18th-century Play Series, “The Clandestine Marriage” and “The Anatomist”; family and children’s programs, “Colonial Kids on Parade,” “Papa Said, Mama Said,” “Lanthorn Walking Tour,” “Evening of Military Life” and “Remember Me When Freedom Comes”; stories of 18th-century criminal justice, “Cry Witch” and “Williamsburg’s Most Wanted”; and strange tales and amazing legends, “Spellbound,” “Legends: Ghosts, Mysteries and Myths.”

A Colonial Williamsburg admission ticket is required for all evening programs. Reservations can be made by calling Colonial Williamsburg’s central reservations center at 1-800-HISTORY.

Established in 1926 and known worldwide as the nation’s largest living history museum, Colonial Williamsburg’s mission is “that the future may learn from the past.” Colonial Williamsburg is located 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information, call toll-free (800) HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s web site at

Media Contact:
Penna Rogers
(757) 220-7121