Historical Drama CATO & DOLLY Returns To The Old State House

Historical Drama CATO & DOLLY Returns To The Old State House

The Bostonian Society announces the return of Cato & Dolly to the Old State House, performing three times daily from June 17 - August 11. This original 20-minute play was written by Patrick Gabridge as part of the Through the Keyhole exhibition, and explores life behind the door of Governor John Hancock's 18th century home. Admission to the play and the exhibition are included in the cost of entry to the Old State House museum.

Premiering at the Old State House in the summer of 2018, Cato & Dolly focuses on the stories of Cato Hancock, an enslaved man who served the Hancock household for decades, and Dorothy Hancock, John Hancock's wife and First Lady of Massachusetts. Two actors take on eight real-life Revolutionary-era figures whose lives intersected at the famous Hancock House. After its successful run last year, the show returns with 21 performances per week in the hopes of bringing the story to a wider audience.

"We were so pleased to reach more than 3,000 people with last year's performances," said Nathaniel Sheidley, Executive Director of the Bostonian Society. "This play is intended to bring forth forgotten perspectives on a critical period in our history, and theatre is a powerful means to connect modern audiences to real people from the past. Many haven't heard these names before, but these men and women who are so often overlooked were witnesses to-and agents of -the birth of American Independence. Cato & Dolly is a thrilling and humbling opportunity to share their stories with our visitors."

Playwright Patrick Gabridge is well-acquainted with bringing forgotten stories to life in untraditional locations. He is the co-founder of the company Plays in Place, which creates site-specific productions for cultural institutions, exploring narratives and ideas unique to their venue. His original play Blood on the Snow dramatized the aftermath of the Boston Massacre and played to sold-out runs at the Old State House in 2016 and 2017. "Cato & Dolly touches on many different issues," said Gabridge, "from the role of women and enslaved people in Colonial America, to loss, and freedom. I hope audiences will come to know Cato and Dolly as living, breathing people, and are inspired to think about how their own lives play a role in our ongoing American story."

Cato & Dolly features Boston-area actors Stephen Sampson and Stewart Evan Smith as Cato, with Austyn Davis, Marge Dunn, and Becca A. Lewis as Dolly. Elliot Norton Award-winner Courtney O'Connor directed the play.

Cato & Dolly will run from June 17 - August 11, 2019 at the Old State House, 206 Washington Street, Boston, MA, 02109. Open 7 days a week from 9-6. Entrance to both the play and the surrounding Through the Keyhole exhibition is included with admission. Adults $12.00, discounts apply for seniors and students. Youth ages 6-18, Massachusetts Teachers, EBT Cardholders, US Military and Veterans are admitted free. Located on the MBTA Blue/Orange line to State Street.

For more information see www.bostonhistory.org or call 617-720-1713.

Photo Credit: Nile Hawver / Nile Scott Shots


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