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Contemporary Youth Arts Presents Original Opera "Lincoln"

Reported: Jan. 30, 2014 12:39 PM EST
Updated: Jan. 30, 2014 1:19 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Kennie Bass) -- America's 16th president and one of the country's most beloved leaders, met a fateful end on April 15, 1865.

That day is the subject of the Dan Kehde and Mark Scarpelli opera, "Lincoln," presented by the Contemporary Youth Arts Company.

"The portrayal of Lincoln is very remorseful, very sad," Kehde, the writer and director of the show, said. "He really felt desperately guilty over the war and over his reaction to the secession to begin with."

The production features a 20-piece orchestra and arrangements by Charleston native Timothy Cooper. This is the third time "Lincoln" has been performed by the Contemporary Youth Arts Company. It premiered in 2005 and was showcased again in 2009.

"You've got to look at him as a human being," Bill Rainey, who portrays Lincoln, said. "And I'm fortunately or unfortunately at the age where I've had a lot of experience with other human beings I know that none of us are 'Brats Gods.' We're all humans."

With songs by characters torn from history's pages including the assassin, John Wilkes Booth, and the president's youngest son Tad, "Lincoln" has been described as a moving tribute to the final tragedy of the Civil War.

"Trying to both play a person who is . . . I'm trying to get everyone to understand the character first and then just lose my mind toward the end of the show," said Jonathan Tucker, who plays Booth.

"Lincoln" stars Rainey in the title role, with Tucker as Booth, Will Manahan portraying Tad and a supporting cast of more than 30.

The Contemporary Youth Arts Company of Charleston will presents the Mark Scarpelli-Dan Kehde musical “Lincoln”
WVSU Capitol Center Theater, 123 Summers St., Charleston
Jan. 30, 31, Feb. 6, 7, 8 at 8 p.m.
Feb.y 2 at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $15 for adults and $8 for students and seniors. They can be purchased the evenings of the performances or reserved by calling the Capitol Center Box Office at 342-6522.

Cast:
Lucy Hale...Maddy Gourevitch
Mary Suratt...Ann Ruckman
Three Wives...Kim Javins, Jessica Hypes, Susanna Tucker
Free Man... Phil Washington
Fordettes...Rowan Maher, Olivia King, Caitlin Moore, Elli Paybins, Shelbi Clark
President Lincoln...Bill Rainey
Tad Lincoln...Will Manahan
Robert Lincoln...Daniel Calwell
John Wilkes Booth...Jonathan Tucker
Stanton...David Scarpelli
Harry Ford...Nik Tidquist
Priest (and soldier) ...Bob Sylvester
Doctor (and soldier) ...Neil Gandee
John Surratt...Jeremy Drake
Azerodt...Austin Susman
Louis...Matt Connelly

Soldiers: Clayton Spry, Nick Ingram, Austin Lowe

Women’s Chorus: Caroline Rainey, Kat Johnson, Gracie Javins, Hannah Peterson, Jessica Hypes, Mandy Harper, Kim Javins, Lisa Gandee, Leah Draper, Rowan Maher, Olivia King, Caitlin Moore, Elli Paybins, Shelbi Clark



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