Laura Keene, who starred in "Our American Cousin" when it was performed in Washington D.C. on April 14, 1865
Our American Cousin
Written by Tom TaylorDirected by Gayle Stahlhuth
8:00 p.m. Although this event is free, reservations are appreciated and may be made by calling 609-884-5898 or e-mail email@example.com
Presented as a staged reading, a cast of 12 take on 16 roles in this British farce about Asa Trenchard, an American who comes to England to claim the family estate. It premiered in 1858 at Laura Keene’s Theatre in NYC, with Joseph Jefferson, famous for his portrayal of “Rip Van Winkle” on the stage, in the role of Asa. Keene portrayed Florence, the daughter of Sir Edward who heads up the Trenchard family in England.
Mary Frances Moss (1826-1873) was born in England. After her husband was sent to prison, she changed her name to Laura Keene and became an actor to support herself and her two children. While touring America, she decided to stay, becoming the first woman in NYC to manage her own theater and direct. It was her production of “Our American Cousin” that was at Ford’s Theatre in Washington D.C, on Good Friday, April 14, 1865. As President and Mrs. Lincoln watched the show from the President’s box, John Wilkes Booth fired the fatal shot. This event was selected to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the assassination.
A New Jersey Theatre Alliance Stages Festival event. Admission-Free.