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BWW Feature: Ford's Theatre Brings DC's Theatrical Rite of Spring ONE DESTINY Off the Stage and Into Your Homes

The 40 minute play can be streamed now through June 13th for FREE!!

BWW Feature: Ford's Theatre Brings DC's Theatrical Rite of Spring ONE DESTINY Off the Stage and Into Your Homes

As the pandemic wears on I have been thinking about what I am going to miss as spring approaches. Certain things such as being able to view the cherry blossoms in person, giving directions to the National Zoo as a lost tourist stands in front of a sign saying "Zoo this way" are just two examples.

The third and probably one that a lot of the locals don't think about is getting to see a really well- written 40-minute play performed by two of DC's finest actors for a five-dollar ticket performed on arguably the most famous stage in this country.

As you might have guessed the stage is Ford's Theatre and the play is called One Destiny. Written by Richard Hellesen, the play takes place at Ford's Theatre a few days after the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln and is seen through the eyes of two men that witnessed the events of April 14, 1865 first hand. Harry Ford was the theatre owner and Harry Hawk was the actor in the play Our American Cousin who was onstage at the very moment John Wilkes Booth snuck into the house right box and shot Abraham Lincoln before climbing over the box rail, jumping onto the stage, and then escaping while brandishing a knife.

Ford's Theatre is now streaming One Destiny on their website through June 13th and there are many reasons why I think you should watch.

BWW Feature: Ford's Theatre Brings DC's Theatrical Rite of Spring ONE DESTINY Off the Stage and Into Your Homes
L-R Michael Bunce and Stephen F. Schmidt in the Ford's Theatre On Demand film of One Destiny .
Photo by Chiet Productions/Courtesy Ford's Theatre.

First off, the fine performances of Michael Bunce (Harry Hawk) and Stephen F. Schmidt (Harry Ford) are finally preserved for a worldwide audience to see. The two gentlemen perform multiple characters besides their bases of Hawk and Ford.

Secondly, the admission charge to watch One Destiny from your couch is absolutely FREE! All you need to do is register on the Ford's Theatre website. The live show only has a five-dollar admission charge so when we are able to gather again, please consider seeing a live performance.

BWW Feature: Ford's Theatre Brings DC's Theatrical Rite of Spring ONE DESTINY Off the Stage and Into Your Homes
L-R Stephen F. Schmidt and Michael Bunce in the Ford's Theatre On Demand film of One Destiny .
Photo by Chiet Productions/Courtesy Ford's Theatre.

The next reason to watch is that the show is filmed onstage at Ford's Theatre so if you have never been there in person, you now get to be in the room where it happened. Hmmm...that sounds like a line from something.

Richard Hellesen's script has never felt like one of those cheesy living theatre plays that talks down to the audience and it still doesn't when you watch at home. I always say that theatre is meant to educate as well as entertain and One Destiny is and always will be a prime example of that theory.

Lastly, and probably the most important reason to watch One Destiny is the fact that this isn't a Zoom presentation. This is as close to live theatre as you're going to get for a while. The filmed version by Chiet Productions as edited by James Gardiner fully captures the theatrical experience as if you were watching the show in person.

If you would like to hear why you need to watch One Destiny from someone other than me, then read this quote from Ford's Theatre's Artistic Director Paul R. Tetreault.

"One Destiny has captured the imaginations of tens of thousands who have experienced it at Ford's. "Not only does the story explore the key facts of the Lincoln assassination, but it captures the emotions of that fateful night. Through the eyes of the play's characters, audiences come to better understand the impact of John Wilkes Booth's hateful and treasonous act, while also realizing that he did not prevail. Democracy in America persevered, as does Lincoln's vision for union and equality and the status of Ford's Theatre as a haven for the performing arts."

I am one of those people that need as many constants in my life as possible. The loss of live theatre since last March is one that I and many others want to come back as soon as it can. Ford's Theatre is providing theatre junkies and everyone else a huge service by making One Destiny available to everyone. One booming "Mr. Hawk!" from Stephen F. Schmidt and you're in.


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