Charleston Black Theatre presented
George Washington’s Boy
Performed as a staged reading
Saturday, February 17, 2018 at 6:00PM
Based on historical fact, George Washington’s Boy, written by Ted Lange and directed by Yvonne Broaddus of Charleston Black Theatre, portrays the fight for freedom, the Declaration of Independence, and the first presidency of the United States from the viewpoint of one of George Washington’s confidants and, ironically, his slave, Billy Lee.
Lee served his master throughout these monumental times and was privy to the innermost thoughts and actions of Washington. Ted Lange, author of 19 plays, gives a voice to these relatively unknown Black Americans. Lange, a prolific actor of stage and screen, director and author, is a graduate of London’s Royal Academy of the Dramatic Arts and recipient of the NAACP Renaissance Man Theatre Award, among many other awards in his career.
His talents caught the attention of Charleston Black Theatre’s founder and executive producer at the National Black Theatre Festival in 2013, which showcased his production of “Lady Patriot”. This particular story was the third play from his published series entitled, “The Footnote Historian’s Trilogy”. In the research of George Washington’s Boy, Lange traveled to Morristown, Philadelphia, and the slave quarters of Mount Vernon.
He collected 46 books, talked to curators, viewed numerous documentaries, and conducted internet searches to uncover the spirit of these Americans in the shadows. In the background of John Trumbulls well-known painting of Washington, Lange discovered a documented portrait of Billy Lee. An integral part of early history, the house slaves lived behind the scenes, combed their master’s hair, packed their mistresses clothes, and cooked food for the household.
Lange moves them into the foreground and paints a story of their humanity. He brings vibrant color, humor, and life to their conversations and portrays their personal heartfelt struggles for freedom. A must see for Black History month!
photo by Adam Chandler
Top row (left to right): Peter Lanzillotta, Teresa Wallace, Jamal Hall, Jeff Neale, Roy Gilliard, Michele Powe, Fred Hutter
Bottom row (left to right): Adolphus F. Williams, Sr., Karl Bunch, Moses Lane, Allison Farrell, Victoria Felder