A New Nation: The American Civil War in Letters, Speeches, and Song Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater)

When: Fridays, Saturdays. Continues through Feb. 14 2009

This is an apt time to revisit the Civil War years, when the Union's collapse forced an untested American president to unprecedented acts. Owl Theater's hour-long debut offers private and public accounts of those four calamitous years, interweaving eyewitness letters from northern soldiers, white and black, with speeches and correspondence by Abraham Lincoln. While the piece lacks theatrical flair--four actors take turns at center stage--not to mention a Confederate point of view, Jessica Wright's simple staging and her cast's straightforward performances allow the texts' complex and often troubling truths to shine through. Dean La Prairie's candid eloquence as Lincoln is so persuasive it makes his unfortunate fake beard almost disappear. --Justin Hayford

Price: $10

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