Witnesses to an assassination: What were they thinking?

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— The Pike County Historical Society and Museum will present a performance that will give insight to the stories of the three very different women that were in the Presidential Box the night of President Lincoln's assassination at Ford's Theater in 1865.

In a series of soliloquies, performed by Patricia Durante and written by Lori Strelecki, the mindset and experiences of Laura Keene, Mary Todd Lincoln, and Clara Harris will be brought to life. The play will be performed at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 4 , at The Columns Museum, 608 Broad St., Milford.  

The museum is home to the famed Lincoln Flag, a large American flag that was draped over the balustrade of the theater box where Lincoln; his wife, Mary Todd; Clara Harris,; and Henry Rathbone sat during the ill-fated performance of the play "Our American Cousin," which starred Laura Keene, on the night of April 14, 1865.  

The outcome of the night's events left a nation in shock, disbelief, and mourning. The profound and horrific effect that one man's actions had on these three women are explored in the play.

Durante is an established and polished performer with a diverse and impressive resume. She personifies each of the three women seamlessly yet distinctively as she relays their thoughts and feelings regarding the tragedy, and the toll it took on each of them in the moment and in the years to follow. She translates the stories well, and leaves you with a better understanding of the characters and the strength they each possessed in the face of tragedy, and she does it with such ease and style that you may feel as if you met, and spent a bit of time with, Laura, Mary and Clara.

Strelecki's scripts are pensive but not overly morose, insightful, and with a wicked twist of sarcasm at times.  

Costuming for the show will be done by Dixie Rich, with funding from Davis Chant.

Light refreshments will be served after the show. Tickets are $25, with proceeds benefiting the museum's fund to preserve the stage costumes in their Lincoln/Gourlay Collection and further the recent interest and research into their provenance for The Costume Society of America through Shippenburg University's Institute of Fashion.

For more information call 570-296-8126.

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