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Theatre Incognita is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the charitable purposes of Theatre Incognita must be made payable to Fractured Atlas only and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

Coming Soon

A Civil War Christmas

by Paula Vogel

donations gratefully accepted
performance venue
First Baptist Church
Dewitt Park
Ithaca, NY
(wheelchair accessible)
Eric Acree
Robin Booth
Christina-Marie Brewington
Mike Davie
David Dietrich
Michael Donato
Eric Hambury
Ross Haarstad
Cole Long
Danny Marte
Leslyn McBean-Clairborne
Geoffrey Peterson
Kristin Sad
A.J. Sage
Claire Saloff-Coste
Simone Smith
directed by
Ross Haarstad
music direction
Tom Peters
stage management
Adrienne Huffman
A Civil War Christmas
Theatre Incognita, Ithaca’s ‘theatre without walls’, travels to the First Baptist Church this December to present the regional premiere of A Civil War Christmas: An American Musical Celebration.
“Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel spins a musical tale of hope and forgiveness. It’s a bitterly cold Christmas Eve in 1864 and all along the Potomac, from the White House to the battlefields, friends and foes alike find their lives strangely and poetically intertwined. Weaving together carols, and folk songs, this ‘beautifully stitched tapestry of American lives’ (New York Times) is sure to become a new holiday classic for the entire family.” (Center Stage, Baltimore)
A Civil War Christmas plays one weekend only, with evening performances at 7:00 pm Friday, December 19 and Saturday, December 20, plus a 3:00 pm matinee on Saturday at the First Baptist Church, located in downtown Ithaca’s Dewitt Park. Admission is free, though donations are gratefully accepted.
Involving 16 local actors and several local musicians, the play weaves the stories of Washington’s free black community, the President and his wife, Northerners and Southerners, and a runaway slave in search of her child with humor and poignancy.
Leslyn McBean-Clairborne heads the cast as Mrs. Elizabeth Keckley, a remarkable woman who bought herself out of slavery and became dressmaker and confidante to First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln. Robin Booth portrays the mercurial Mary Todd, who visits and cheers wounded soldiers in secret. Geoffrey Peterson plays Decatur Bronson, one of the many soldiers in the Union’s First Colored Regiment, who is in search of his missing wife, Rose. Christina Marie-Brewington, plays both Rose and Hannah, a runaway slave searching the cold winter streets for her missing daughter Jessa (Simone Smith.)
Also popping up through the play are such notable figures as General Grant, General Robert E. Lee, Walt Whitman, Clara Barton, John Wilkes Booth and everyday folk, portrayed by actors Eric Acree, Mike Davie, David Dietrich, Michael Donato, Eric Hambury, Ross Haarstad, Cole Long, Danny Marte, Kristin Sad, Claire Saloff-Coste and A.J. Sage.
Tom Peters serves as musical director, Adrienne Huffman stage manages and Ross Haarstad directs.