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2017 American Historical Theatre George Washington Performance
February 8 @ 9:00 am - 2:00 pm
Get ready for a historical performance unlike any other! The 2017 American Historical Theatre George Washington Performance will take place on Wed., February 8 and Thursday Feb. 9, 2017 at the TAMIU Recital Hall. This will be a special interactive and educational play catered to local students. The event is free of charge, open to the public (space permitting), perfect for all ages, and proudly sponsored by Castellano & Carpenter Dental Associates, PC.
Portrayed by Carol Spacht
Martha Washington’s remarkable, and mostly untold, story helps audiences to understand the unique role women played in the building of our nation. Martha Washington was instrumental throughout the revolutionary war. Joining her husband at his winter encampments, she provided stockings and other necessaries to the soldiers at Valley Forge and elsewhere. Her most valuable contributions were, undoubtedly, those of her kind ministrations to the soldier’s morale. As a first lady, though she felt imprisoned by the role and longed always for the sweet country life at Mount Vernon, she never showed it, and was “determined to be cheerful despite [her] circumstances”, which on many occasions took a stalwart resolve.
Carol Spacht performs extensively in the Philadelphia region, presenting hundreds of interactive programs to schools, libraries and civic organizations. She studied theatre at Villanova University and graduated with highest honors from Eastern University with degrees in Literature and Theatre Arts. An author of original scripts and scholarly papers, she also completed a commissioned project culminating in the publication of Whitpaine’s Creek, a book on early Pennsylvania history.
As an historic interpreter, Carol portrays several women from history, including Martha Washington for Valley Forge National Park, the Smithsonian Institution and others. She appears regularly as Betsy Ross, our nation’s premier flag maker, and has extensive knowledge of hand-sewing techniques, textiles, and the trade of the upholsterer in the eighteenth century. An engaging and delightful storyteller, students of all ages enjoy the educational and interactive “Tree to Lumber” tours on forestry and the Pennsylvania lumber trade led by Carol and her husband, Dave, at Spacht Sawmill in Worcester, Pennsylvania.
Portrayed by Kim Hanley
Betsy Ross, nee Elizabeth Griscom, was born into a middle class Quaker family. Betsy was educated at a Quaker school then apprenticed to an upholsterer where she met her first husband John Ross, a fellow apprentice. Subsequently she was “read out” for marrying outside her faith. The Revolutionary War took its toll on the couple: the business struggled and then John was killed while serving in the Pennsylvania militia. John was not the only husband she would lose to the cause. Eventually she married her third husband John Claypoole. The couple were members of the Free Quaker congregation. She bore 6 daughters 5 of whom survived infancy and went on to take over the business. During the War, Betsy was said to have sewn the first US “stars and stripes” flag.
Kim Hanley as Betsy Ross portrays an ultimately successful, if not hugely wealthy, woman able to maintain a business under the most difficult of conditions. This woman, one of the most popular characters in American history books, gained fame she would never have sought as a Quaker woman for creating the first American flag. But Hanley shows us why Ross should be celebrated for being a woman participating in the workforce, for raising 5 daughters, and for supporting the Revolutionary Cause. Ms. Hanley helps her audience understand and relate to the Quaker faith, and to appreciate women’s work in the 18th century. Kim Hanley is a gifted costumer and seamstress in her own right and demonstrates how Betsy Ross deftly reproduced a 5-pointed star with a single cut. By tracing the American flag’s historical components, Ms. Hanley gives our flag, and our country, its place on the continuum of history.
Kim Hanley, an actor, singer, costumer and dancer, trained and danced from an early age with the School of American Ballet and the Eglevsky Ballet in New York, as well as with the visiting Bolshoi Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, Bill Hastings and Chet Walker. Ms. Hanley is also an accomplished costumer whose specialty is historical fashion. She includes among her “bigger” clients The Philly Phanatic. Kim’s academic training includes a BFA in Restoration and History of Applied Arts from the Fashion Institute of Technology, State University of New York.
Kim began interpreting Abigail with AHT from 1997. Ms. Hanley has appeared in venues that include the White House Visitors Center, National Archives, National Portrait Gallery, Frazier Museum, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Franklin Institute, Liberty Museum, Constitution Center, Independence Visitors Center, Freedoms Foundation, Pennsylvania Historical Society, Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace, Delaware Humanities Chautauqua and libraries throughout New Jersey and the greater Philadelphia area.
Wednesday, February 8th:
- 9 a.m.
- 11 a.m.
- 1 p.m.
Thursday, February 9th:
- 9 a.m.
- 11 a.m. – Open to the public