The Show Must Go On!

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TT '12 smallI began working at the foundation last October–just in time for Twilight Tales. When I agreed to participate in the event, I had no idea what I was getting myself into, and just two weeks after my first day I was decked out in colonial clothing and covered in ghost make-up and fake smallpox. It was the most fun I had ever had while working, and gave me even more reason to look forward to October every year.

We began recruiting volunteers for this year’s Twilight Tales over the summer, and the dedicated group of people who answered our call have been working tirelessly, despite the shutdown, to make this year’s event a spectacular one. After a jam-session to learn the songs (yes, you heard right–songs!), a prop design day to help transform the farm, and two rehearsals of the script, we are only one dress rehearsal away from event day.

This year’s Twilight Tales will follow Gemmy Catnach, famous “death hunter” and murder balladeer, and the ghosts that are the subjects of his sinister songs. With tales of tragic love triangles, cruel mothers, murderous affairs, and poisonings, we’ll be exploring  murder and death through the music of colonial Maryland. It will be both creepy and toe-tapping as the real-life spirits of the day serenade you from the fields to the farm house, and the tobacco barn to the Tavern of Lost Souls.

This is certainly an event you don’t want to miss, and whether we’re closed or not–the show will go on! Follow the links below to learn more about the event, keep updated about its location, and to register your spot in one of the tours.

Friday, October 25

Saturday, October 26

We hope to see you there!

 

Twilight Tales Prop Design Day

Twilight Tales Prop Design Day

Twilight Tales Rehearsal

Twilight Tales Rehearsal

Blocking out the scene

Blocking out the scene

photo (17)

Twilight Tales Rehearsal

 

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“That’s Entertainment: The Politics of Mirth”

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The Scene–The time is 1774 and you’re invited to the Bealle Barbeque.

Be entertained the colonial way with food, sport, and merriment! Museum professionals, through an interactive performance and presentation of 18th century entertainments, enlighten guests about the social aspects of a colonial-era barbeque. The event will feature a quarter horse race, a uniquely American invention and a tradition with deep roots in Prince George’s county, as well as food catered by Famous Dave’s BBQ.

Event Details and About the Museum Theater Intern Program:

“That’s Entertainment: The Politics of Mirth” is an intensive program designed to introduce the 21st century visitor into the world of 18th century entertainments and the deep social meanings they held for all classes of early Marylanders. The “barbecues” held throughout the Tidewater area were far more than how we view them today. Often hosted or sponsored by wealthy gentlemen standing for election the barbecue offers a perfect setting to explore not only what colonists did for fun, but more importantly, why and what it meant to them. Event participants will meet and interact with the local candidate Josias Bealle and various other members of the local parish, learning about colonial-era electioneering and the ways in which sport were used to conduct such business. The Museum Theater interns, under the guidance of museum theater professionals and scholars, will create characters and scenes designed to go far beyond the “this is what they played” presentation and focus on the deeper social benefits of such activities.

Please note: The main event kicks off at 4 pm each day, Saturday, July 28 and Sunday, July 29 with performances ending about 7 pm. Event guests have the option to attend the performance either Saturday or Sunday (or both!). Barbeque platters will be catered by Famous Dave’s  BBQ;  the cost of food is additional to the admission fee with tickets available for purchase each day.

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“Cocker’s Brawl” (Museum Theater Weekend Vignettes)

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Leading up to the main event, “That’s Entertainment: The Politics of Mirth”, Museum Theatre interns will perform weekend vignettes (or short scenes) to further explore how colonial Marylanders past their time through entertainment and diversions from the work day. Vignette performances are held every Saturday and Sunday beginning Saturday, June 16 through Sunday, July 22 on the National Colonial Farm exhibit site at 11 am, 1 pm, and 3 pm.

“Cocker’s Brawl” – Introducing visitors to cock fighting–the second most popular sport during the 18th century–scenes explore what was involved in setting up a cock fight and why it was important in understanding the social aspect and popularity of sport. (Please note that no real cocks, or roosters, will be a part of these performances.)

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Summer 2012 Museum Theatre Interns at the National Colonial Farm

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It is 1772 in Prince George’s County, and Josias Bealle is sponsoring a barbeque to curry favor with the local parish.

The National Colonial Farm at Piscataway Park – a living history museum in Accokeek, Maryland – is now auditioning for the 2012 Museum Theatre Internship Program, which runs this summer from June 8 through July 29. Working with museum theatre professionals and scholars, interns will learn the art of living history interpretation and museum theatre. Interns will create and perform theatrical pieces on the topic of “The Politics of Mirth,” focusing on the many ways in which colonial Marylanders “diverted” themselves. Internship hours will be Friday through Sunday, 9:30a.m. – 3:30p.m., leading up to the culminating event, on the evenings of July 28 and 29.

 

Interns perform “Crime and Punishment” at the National Colonial Farm

Auditions for the Museum Theater Internship Program is now CLOSED for the 2012 season. For information about next season or future opening, please contact the manager of historic interpretation.

View more photos from the Museum Theatre Intern Program over the years on Flickr.

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Pic of the Week #7 – Crime and Punishment in Colonial Maryland

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The stage is set, enter "Miss Nancy Marple Fletcher Drew" to solve this "who dunnit"

After nearly 2 months of learning about colonial Maryland history, writing scripts, rehearsing, and braving the hot “Dog Days of Summer”, the Museum Theatre interns gave a stellar performance that was both entertaining and educational.

This week’s pic features interns, Lindsey Mitchell as “Miss Nancy Marple Fletcher Drew” and Trey Thomas as “Mister Henry Waring Claggett” as they perform Murder on the Potomac.

What great caption can you come up with to go along with this photo? Leave a comment below and we’ll post the chosen caption in the next issue of the eNewsletter.

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Weekend Vignettes

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Saturday, July 23, 2011 – Leading up to our Colonial Day: Crime and Punishment event our Museum Theatre Interns will be performing weekend vignettes or short scenes to further explore the justice system in colonial Maryland. Vignettes will be every Saturday and Sunday from June 25th through July 24th.

“Tales from the Pillory” – What would it take to land yourself in the pillory? Stop by and hear from those unfortunate enough to find out!

Where: “The Pillory” on Cedar Lane

Show times: 11 am and 1 pm

“Insolent and Contemptuous Carriages” – Bastardy in 18th century Maryland: This trial re-enactment looks into the crime of bastardy (a child born to unwed parents) and how it was dealt with in colonial Maryland. Here we present three women convicted of the same crime whose circumstances clearly illustrate how this particular crime was dealt with. Some subject and language may not be appropriate for children.

Where: “The County Court” at the demo kitchen

Show time: 2:30 pm

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Explore “Crime and Punishment in Colonial Maryland” Through Museum Theatre

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Accokeek, MD—A historic farm house and heritage breed farm animals provide the backdrop for an entertaining evening of theatrical performances at the National Colonial Farm on July 30. For five years running, the Museum Theatre Program at the Accokeek Foundation has provided a few talented performers with intensive training in living history and museum theatre–a form of live performance used to educate and engage visitors at museums around the world.  Rooted in scholarly research, this year’s program uses a variety of theatrical techniques to explore the topic of crime and punishment in Colonial Maryland. Weekend performances in July have provided interns the opportunity to engage with visitors in performances of vignettes they created, including “Tales from the Pillory” and “Insolent and Contemptuous Carriages,” even as they feverishly developed the script and rehearsed their final show: “Murder on the Potomac.”

“This internship has been a wonderful learning experience that has tested my limits in acting and history and lengthened them”, states intern Jeanette Wheeler.  “It truly has been an experience of a lifetime.” Rounding out the cast of interns this year is Shanice Jones, Mariah Fry, Valerie Holt, Lindsey Mitchell, and Abby Barber.

The internship program culminates in the Foundation’s popular Colonial Day event, which has something for audiences of all ages. At 5 p.m. families can enjoy a delightful adaptation of “Goody Two Shoes,” a favorite 18th century children’s story (developed in collaboration with the National Children’s Museum), and “Songs and Tales from the Pillory.” Then the audience will be invited to stroll through the house and yard of the National Colonial Farm looking for “clues” to a murder before taking a seat and watching as Miss Nancy Marple Fletcher Drew attempts to solve the mystery of “Murder on the Potomac” in this hilarious send-up of the classic “whodunit.”

Event Details
Colonial Day: Crime and Punishment in Colonial Maryland
Saturday, July 30
5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
$7 members; $10 non-members, with advance admission available

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Meet the Cast of Museum Theatre Interns at the National Colonial Farm

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Shanice Jones interprets "Cate Sharper"

Shanice Jones, born in Washington DC, recently graduated from Salisbury University with a Bachelor’s in Theatre and minor in Music. Along with this internship, she was recently titled the Company Stage Manager of Artists’ Initiative Theatre Company and is currently acting in a show called “Language of Angels” at Bowie Community Theatre. Shanice also is attending school to earn a Masters in Business Administration, while working full-time with the government.  Her future goals include obtaining her PhD in Theatre History and Criticism and to be a college professor of the arts.

Shanice on the Museum Theatre Program and the National Colonial Farm: “One of the craziest experiences that happened so far was when I was working in the fields on my first day and I almost passed out because I thought I couldn’t handle the heat without no water or food on my stomach. It wasn’t a pleasant feeling but it’s funny to think back on it now.”

Mariah Fry interprets "Jemima Bolton"

Mariah Fry grew up partially in Phoenix, AZ and in Alexandria, Va. She has a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in Theatre Education from Arizona State as well as a Master of Arts in Literacy from George Mason. Mariah has been a theatre instructor at Glasgow Middle School as well as a docent at Carlyle House in Virginia.

Mariah on the Museum Theatre Program and the National Colonial Farm: “Being a part of the Museum Theatre Program basically combines my favorite things: education, theatre and history which will give me plenty of excitement to bring back to my classroom in the fall.  Since working here I feel like I am no longer a “damsel in distress” when it comes to insects. On my first day we had to kill squash bugs in the field with our fingers, after that a shoe is an easy step up!”

Lindsey Mitchell interprets "Chloe Bolton"

A recent graduate from Shenandoah Conservatory in Virginia, Lindsey Mitchell earned the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting. She’s participated in many different theatre productions including: Titus Andronicus, The Miracle Worker, Doubt, The Comedy of Errors and Lysistrata.

Lindsey on the Museum Theatre Program and the National Colonial Farm: “Thus far, my internship accomplishments include learning to card and spin wool, working with and recognizing various plants and mustering up the courage to kill squash bugs with my hands! I hope to learn much more about this exciting time period during the next month.”

Abby Barber interprets "Annake Higdon"

Originally from Prince George’s County, Abby Barber remembers visiting the National Colonial Farm growing up. She is currently an undergrad student at Shenandoah University pursuing a BFA in Theatre for Youth. Some of her favorite roles on stage include Maria in Lend Me a Tenor and Gertrude McFuzz in Seussical. She hopes to one day tour with the Missoula Children’s Theatre and never stop doing the many aspects of theatre.

Abby on the Museum Theatre Program and the National Colonial Farm: “Despite the many challenges of this career, theatre is what I must do because it is what I have to thank for helping me understand and feel connected to those around me. Thank you, National Colonial Farm for this opportunity to learn.  Here’s to getting over my fear of bugs and squishing more hornworms!”

Valerie Holt interprets "Elizabeth Bread Higdon"

Valerie Holt is a lifelong theater and history enthusiast, who relishes the opportunity to learn what to do when you’re left alone with cows that have jumped over the fence, among other things. A graduate of Queen Anne School, Valerie will enter St. Mary’s College of Maryland in the fall. As a local resident of Ft. Washington, she can often be seen performing with the Tantallon Community Players, where she has had such roles as Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird, Amy in Little Women and, most recently, Cinderella in Into the Woods. She hopes to continue working in “living history” at Historic St. Mary’s City.

Jeannette Wheeler interprets "Charity Bolton"

Jeannette Wheeler is currently a student at Towson University pursuing a degree in Elementary Education with a Social Science minor. Her experience includes some children’s productions sanduch as Alice in Wonderland, Charlotte’s Web, and The Princess and the Pea.

Jeannette on the Museum Theatre Program and the National Colonial Farm: “This internship has been a wonderful learning experience that has tested my limits in acting and history and lengthened them. I have learned so much and look forward to learning more. I am extremely grateful for this opportunity. Thank you, Matt Mattingly, Lisa Hayes and the entire Accokeek Foundation staff. It truly has been the experience of a lifetime.”

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Weekend Vignettes

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Sunday, July 17, 2011 – Leading up to our Colonial Day: Crime and Punishment event our Museum Theatre Interns will be performing weekend vignettes or short scenes to further explore the justice system in colonial Maryland. Vignettes will be every Saturday and Sunday from June 25th through July 24th.

“Tales from the Pillory” – What would it take to land yourself in the pillory? Stop by and hear from those unfortunate enough to find out!

Where: “The Pillory” on Cedar Lane

Show times: 11 am and 1 pm

“Insolent and Contemptuous Carriages” – Bastardy in 18th century Maryland: This trial re-enactment looks into the crime of bastardy (a child born to unwed parents) and how it was dealt with in colonial Maryland. Here we present three women convicted of the same crime whose circumstances clearly illustrate how this particular crime was dealt with. Some subject and language may not be appropriate for children.

Where: “The County Court” at the demo kitchen

Show time: 2:30 pm

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Weekend Vignettes

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Saturday, July 16, 2011 – Leading up to our Colonial Day: Crime and Punishment event, our Museum Theatre Interns will be performing weekend vignettes or short scenes to further explore the justice system in colonial Maryland. Vignettes will be every Saturday and Sunday from June 25th through July 24th.

“Tales from the Pillory” – What would it take to land yourself in the pillory? Stop by and hear from those unfortunate enough to find out!

Where: “The Pillory” on Cedar Lane

Show times: 11 am and 1 pm

“Insolent and Contemptuous Carriages” – Bastardy in 18th century Maryland: This trial re-enactment looks into the crime of bastardy (a child born to unwed parents) and how it was dealt with in colonial Maryland. Here we present three women convicted of the same crime whose circumstances clearly illustrate how this particular crime was dealt with. Some subject and language may not be appropriate for children.

Where: “The County Court” at the demo kitchen

Show time: 2:30 pm

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