The following press release was provided by the Lexington Historical Society.
What do you really know about the first day of the American Revolution? Imagine hearing it from the people who lived it?
The dramatic events of April 1775, are retold In Their Own Words, on the eve of Patriots’ Day, Sunday, April 15, at First Parish, 7 Harrington Road in Lexington. There will be two shows, at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.
“This show sells out year after year,” says Susan Bennett, executive director of the Lexington Historical Society. “It’s such a thrill to be in the moment with the words of real people from history, that we have added a performance to give more people the chance to embrace it. It’s what the Society is all about.”
In Their Own Words is drawn from actual eyewitness accounts of the first hours of the Revolutionary War. Real-life characters trace the story from Paul Revere’s ride, to the first shots on Lexington Common, through the Redcoats’ bloody retreat on the day the Revolution began.
The town rises to Revere’s call that “the Regulars are coming out.” Redcoats, unwelcome enforcers en route to Concord, march through the tinderbox of rebellion set to ignite in Lexington. Townswomen offer a seldom-heard, intimate perspective.
Conceived and produced by local author and filmmaker Rick Beyer, In Their Own Words packs the power of first-person accounts.
“These are the words of people who were really there,” Beyer says. “What better source to reveal what it felt like, what it sounded like, and the fear and confusion of those 24 hours?”
This sixth annual Patriots’ Day Eve performance features Lexington residents and friends in Colonial attire, each taking a number of roles. The Rev. Judy Brain narrates and Tom Fortmann portrays Paul Revere. Marsha Baker, Rick Beyer, John Denis, Carla Fortmann and Jane Morse are bolstered by Lincoln Clark, Sam Doran, Rob Lee, and Joe Brain, who plays the Rev. Jonas Clarke. Marilyn Rea Beyer directs. Fife and drum, plus period tunes performed by Diane Taraz punctuate the action and enhance this family-friendly event.
By the light of their candle lanterns, characters speak from diaries, depositions, letters and sermons to evoke the tension pervading those early morning hours in April 1775. To attend is to reverse time, to engage in the actual events, and to capture the essence of the day. The audience senses the Colonists’ hopes and their fears for their future – and for their personal safety. Hear the Redcoats’ resolve to keep peace and quell conflict. Witness the boldness of the farmers’ militia, the astonishment of the King’s Troops at their audacity, and the impact on women of the town.
Tickets for In Their Own Words, presented by the Lexington Historical Society, are $7 adults/$3 children for Society members, $10/$5 for non-members. Purchase tickets by phone at 781-862-1703 or at the Buckman Tavern Gift Shop, daily 9:30 a.m. to 4:40 p.m.
In Their Own Words aptly sets the scene for the re-enactment of Paul Revere’s arrival at the Hancock-Clarke House at 11:30 p.m. that night and the battle re-enactment at dawn on Patriots’ Day.