Theater Chair Elston Directs Civil War Production

Posted: July 7, 2010 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: July 6, 2010 at 3:27 pm

On July 17, 1861, forces from the Union and Confederate armies began marching toward Manassas for the first battle of the Civil War.

On July 17, 2010, families can enjoy stories from that history, as well as period comedy, tales of Civil War camp life, spies and live music of the time, all performed by actors from the Gray Ghost Theater Company and singers from the Manassas Chorale.

The production “Civil War Stories in Word and Music” is a staged reading with music. Ken Elston, chair of Mason’s Department of Theater, wrote the script based upon extensive research and interviews.

While the production contains a description of the historic battle, it also brings religious and political thinking into focus, celebrates the music-hall-style comedy of the period and uses letters and diary entries to bring true human journeys to life. Local family tales will also be featured.

Elston is artistic director of Footsteps In Time, the show’s production company. Footsteps In Time works to unite exceptional historical research with excellence in theatrical entertainment.

“Civil War Stories in Word and Music” concludes a full day of activities at the National Battlefield Park and the historic properties in Prince William and Manassas.

The free show will be presented on Saturday, July 17, at 8 p.m. at Mary Louise Jackson Amphitheater, 6901 Sudley Road, on the Manassas Campus of Northern Virginia Community College.

For more information, contact Elston at or 571-277-3826.

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