Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Poughkeepsie Shipyards and The Revolutionary War

The Simon Studio in association with the City of Poughkeepsie will present the world premier of The Poughkeepsie Shipyards and The Revolutionary War at 3:15 p.m. May 26 (a Tuesday) in the parking lot at Shadow's restaurant on Rinaldi Boulevard, near Poughkeepsie's waterfront.

Here are the details from the release:

Sponsored by Marshall and Sterling, St. Francis Hospital, the Grandview and Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel, this special Quadricentennial event will be presented one time only on TUESDAY, MAY 26 at 3:15 pm as an historical military pageant on Poughkeepsie's Hudson River waterfront at Ship Yard Point.  Admission is free and open to the public. 

As an added note of interest, it will be performed outdoors in the parking lot of Shadows Restaurant - just north of the ship yard's original historical site where the play's 18th century story actually unfolded. 

Written by Nicholas Conti of Beacon, it is directed and produced by Roger Hendricks Simon, artistic director of THE SIMON STUDIO in NYC and Poughkeepsie.  Mr. Simon has been associated with the NY Shakespeare Festival, Yale Rep and London's Royal Court Theatre. 

This performance celebrates a pivotal chapter of local, NY state and national history - the building and activity associated with the Revolutionary War Continental Congress Ship Yards at "Ship Yard Point" in Poughkeepsie. 

Nancy Cozean, chair of the Celebration Committee, coordinator of the event and former mayor of Poughkeepsie, said, "This pageant is one of the real highlights of our Quad celebration.  I am constantly amazed at the rich history of our City, but this event embodies a decisive moment in our state and nation's history." 

Director Simon adds that the performance's location is a thematic key.  "I wanted to stage this pageant on the actual site where the events actually occurred rather than in a traditional theater.  That way we truly feel like we're reliving our history.  Those 18th century events were real drama.  Then as now we felt under seige and in real danger.  The British were the terrorists then." 

Included in the pageant will be Revolutionary War drills and members of our military services.  The US Coast Guard Cutter, The Sturgeon Bay, The Navy Heritage Center in Washington, D.C., the US Military Academy Band, The Hellcats from West Point along with the NYS Navy Militia and a historic replica of a revolutionary boat from New Jersey will participate and be part of a flotilla of ships in the river as a back drop to the event.  A unique cast of both professional and local actors, singers, musicians and civic leaders will be joined by the Kreiger School Colonialists and the area Continental Army and Zuavaes along with military, city, state and national leaders as well. 

In particular Congressman Maurice Hinchey, Poughkeepsie Mayor John Tkazyak and Colonel James Johnson among others will participate in the pageant's Grand Finale - the dedication ceremony of a plaque commemorating the historical ship yards. 
Cast members include Tyler Barden, Steve Wing, Peter Leonard, Ralph Cashen, Lora Lee Ecobelli, Peter Bedrosian, Doug Nobiletti, Brett Owen, Rob Rondon, Ron and Gloria Robbins, Peter Walker and members of the Walker Family Band.  Associate Director is Blair Wing and Stage Manager is Teresa Gasparini. 

This is the third in a series of PUBLIC THEATRE site specific original historical dramas produced by THE SIMON STUDIO and the City of Poughkeepsie.  Each production uniquely combined professional actors with local civic, community and political leaders reflecting the historical roles they played. 

The first was THE DECIDING VOTE - about the ratification of the US Constitution in 1787 Poughkeepsie and produced at the Dutchess County Courthouse - the actual historical site of the event.  Next came LAND OF THE FREE - about the Amistad trials and commemorating the underground railroad movement in the Poughkeepsie area.  That performance was presented outdoors in Waryas Park and used the docked Amistad ship museum and the Hudson River as its backdrop. 

For further information on this Revolutionary Pageant call THE SIMON STUDIO at 845-485-9829 or 212-841-0204 or

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