President Lincoln and General Lee Return To Morristown for Shadows of Gettysburg @7pm
President Lincoln and General Lee Return To Morristown for
Shadows of Gettysburg
Shadows of Gettysburg, an epic play depicting the dramatic Battle of Gettysburg, will be performed Saturday, April 13 at 7:00 p.m. at the Rose Center Museum in Morristown.
President Abraham Lincoln and Confederate General Robert E. Lee will lead a talented cast of 20 actors as they experience the emotions and pains of the leaders and common soldiers in the War Between the States.
The play is a prelude to the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. The Gettysburg commemoration will feature two mega battle reenactments on June 27-30, and July 4-7 in Gettysburg with over 20,000 soldier reenactors from across America and several foreign countries.
Tickets are $15 for individuals, $25 for couples and $2 for children accompanying adults. Tickets may be purchased at the Citizen Tribune, the Morristown Chamber of Commerce, and online at www.lakewaytickets.com . Information: 423-581-5630, ext. 320.
Net proceeds to benefit the General Longstreet Museum.
President Lincoln is portrayed by Dennis Boggs, a Nashville actor who makes more than 200 appearances each year and has appeared on nationally syndicated TV shows. Boggs, who is returning to the Lakeway area for his fourth performance, looks the part. At 6’4” tall, he is the same height Lincoln was. He is four years older than Lincoln when he died. Coincidentally, Boggs’ wife is named Molly, a nickname Lincoln gave his wife Mary.
Boggs became a Lincoln presenter by chance. Working in Community Theater near his home in Nashville, he was approached by a director that suggested he take on the persona. He took the advice and started a full time career entertaining and speaking at schools, churches, re-enactments and legislative assemblies.
Like Lincoln, Boggs became a voracious reader devouring many books and articles about the 16th President. “Learning everything I could about Lincoln allows me to make better presentations and honor the character,’ he said.
Confederate General Robert E. Lee is portrayed by Dr. David Chaltas, a Kentucky school principal who wrote the play. Chaltas bears such a striking resemblance to General Lee that he won high praise from a descendant of Lee. “I met Robert E. Lee III after a performance once,” Chaltas said. “He walked over to me and told me ‘now I know what it would be like to have met my grandfather.”
Chaltas has authored over 25 books, many about Lee or the Civil War including “Poems of the Civil War” and “Appalachian Rebel.”
Carol Campbell, director of Programs and Tourism at Lincoln Memorial University, is director of the play. Among her many credits Campbell staged the reenactment of Cumberland Gap. She has worked with Boggs and Chaltas on other projects.
The story opens with Lincoln in his office reading reports and reflecting on the war. Lee is preparing for the Battle of Gettysburg.
As the story develops, the spirit of General Stonewall Jackson who was killed at the Battle of the Wilderness enters. He speaks to Lee who can’t hear him. General Longstreet, portrayed by Bill White, enters and gives Lee the dour news of the unfortunate turn the battle has taken.
The story ends as Lee is defeated and apologizes to his men, and Lincoln’s moving recital of the Gettysburg Address.
“There is a scene at the end of the play that is very moving.” Campbell said, though she declined to give any spoilers.
As Lincoln recites the immortal Gettysburg Address, Janice Derriberry sings “Amazing Grace” in the background. It’s very moving,” said Chaltas. “Janice has a wonderful voice.”
Bill White of Morristown plays the part of General Longstreet. Like Chaltas, White received high praise from a descendant of his character.
“General Longstreet’s great grandson met Bill,” said Chaltas. “He was very impressed with him and praised his portrayal of Longstreet.”
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