Nine Whitehall actors will appear with professional performers in the “Civil War Celebration — 1863” to be staged by the Bridge Theater at the Whitehall Athletic Center beginning at noon on Saturday, Aug. 24, in a “19th century picnic atmosphere” that comes with lunch for guests.
Veteran local performers Susan Ingerson, Colin Thompson, Lucretia Ingerson, Charles Austin and Danielle Ingerson will be joined by brothers Troy and Ian Rollins, Betty Newell, and Nicholas Benson in the celebration that will feature professional performers from Greene, Saratoga and Washington counties.
Susan Ingerson has appeared in leading roles with the Potter’s Players and has starred in six major productions produced by the Bridge Theater in the past decade.
Charles Austin, who also played leading roles with the Potter’s Players, will be performing his first role with the Bridge Theater.
Ian and Troy Rollins, graduates of Whitehall High School and members of the school’s drama club, will be making their debuts with the Bridge Theater.
Betty Newell, a leading production member of the Bridge Theater during its 14 seasons, will be playing Clara Barton, the famed nurse, who was one of the first women to treat soldiers on the battlefield.
Nicholas Benson is the youngest member of the cast. He enters kindergarten this September.
Some of these local performers will serve as leading personalities during the Civil War.
Susan Ingerson will portray poet/social reformer Julia Ward Howe, who wrote the words for the Civil War song, “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.”
As Brigadier General John Joseph Abercrombie, Colin Thompson will appear as one of Lincoln’s aides and the oldest field general in the Union Army.
Lucretia Ingerson, who had many roles with Potter’s Players and will make her debut with the Bridge Theater, will perform as the wife of a fictional major in the First Vermont Brigade who, as did so many other officer’s wives, followed their husbands to the war, helping to cook and wash their clothing.
Benson will play her grandson (not a stretch considering he is Ingerson’s grandson). She brings from her family from their Vermont home to see President Lincoln in his visit to Whitehall.
Troy Rollins will be seen as a Whitehall soldier writing to his friend back home, played by Ian Rollins. They perform in a sequence that includes letters from Whitehall to men on the Virginia battlefields and their responses. In this sequence, Austin will appear as a father required to break bad news at home from his son on a Virginia battlefield.
Other segments of the afternoon’s performance include an appearance by Phil Jessen of Hartford, as President Lincoln who will address the gathering. Lance Inquire, president of the Friends of the NYS Military Museum in Saratoga Springs, will serve as master of ceremonies and also contribute commentary on a segment of still photos of the Civil War period that were taken by his great-great uncle who was a Lincoln photographer.
John Quinn and the 77th Regiment Balladeers will perform during each of the sequences of the whole show.
Admission to this “Celebration” is $15 for adults and $13 for students and includes a buffet lunch. Anybody who mentions the Whitehall Chamber of Commerce when they purchase tickets will receive a discounted rate of $10 per ticket. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 518-499-0477.