At Ford’s Theatre, we often face an interesting dilemma when presenting plays and musicals that have ties to history. Because Ford’s is inextricably tied to our national history with the assassination of Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865, many in expect any aspect of American history portrayed on our stage to be 100 percent truthful to the facts. Patrick Pearson discusses.
Since 2000, many visitors to Ford’s Theatre have stepped back in time with National Park Service volunteer Liz Hogan, who portrays First Lady Mary Lincoln and, sometimes, Mary Lincoln’s confidante Elizabeth Dixon. Hogan seeks to counter some of the many pervasive myths about Lincoln’s First Lady. Learn about how Hogan prepared for this historical role and how visitors react.
On a semi-cold Tuesday, Ford’s Theatre staff and evaluator Kate Haley Goldman spent the day on the street between the Petersen House and Ford’s Theatre, asking visitors for their opinions of two on-site prototypes that might enhance the visitor’s understanding of the Lincoln assassination and its aftermath. Read on to see what we learned from that testing.
Teaching in Washington, D.C., affords teachers and students an abundance of real-life educational experiences; however, these opportunities require significant planning and organization from teachers. Ford’s Theatre makes the logistics easy, and students will remember the day for a lifetime.
Since reopening in 1968, Ford's Theatre has remained a working theatre that presents performances that entertain, inspire empathy and share insights into historical events and individuals like Lincoln himself. See more about the history we showcase on our stage.
How museum visitors interact with site content is constantly changing. We initially wanted to enhance our museum storytelling in one way, but found other options could be more effective and viable. Learn more about our shift from creating an experience on mobile devices to developing prototypes to test other types of technology.
Timberlake Wertenbaker has written extensively for the stage, radio and film. In January 2018, Ford’s Theatre presents the American premiere of her latest play, Jefferson’s Garden. Read her thoughts on writing about the complex beginnings of our nation and our relationship with freedom
Washington, D.C., offers numerous opportunities to get out of the classroom and experience history, particularly when studying the Civil War. While Ford’s Theatre receives a large amount of attention, many other sites with engaging stories can be found around the city—in neighborhoods and places easily accessible to students that they may pass by on a daily basis.
Did you know that African Americans testified during the trial of the Lincoln assassination conspirators? In one major instance, 10 former slaves spoke out candidly against their former owner, Dr. Samuel Mudd, revealing him to be far more malicious than his innocent country doctor persona suggested.
How can a college professor or K-12 teacher work with a public history institution like Ford’s Theatre to teach students about historical research? Learn from a collaboration between Ford’s and St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas, that inspired college students and brought underrepresented voices into a digital history exhibition--and see how teachers at all levels can do such projects.
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