SPRINGFIELD – Two actors alone on a stage, trying to make sense of Abraham Lincoln's assassination. That's the simple but compelling premise of the play "One Destiny," which returns to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum this week.
The play by Richard Hellesen is set on the stage of Ford's Theatre in the days following President Lincoln's death in April 1865. Harry Hawk, the actor who was onstage when the assassination occurred, revisits that fateful night with Harry Ford, one of the theater managers.
The one-act play will be presented four times: April 10, 11, 13 and 15 – the anniversary of Lincoln's death. Tickets are free with regular admission to the museum. Tickets will be distributed at the museum's Union Theater two hours before each show's 1:30 start time.
Every performance is followed by a chance for the audience to talk to the actors, Ed MacMurdo and Zaxxson Nation, who each portray several characters over the course of the 40-minute play.
"One of my favorite things about these performances are the lively Q & A sessions afterwards," said Phil Funkenbusch, director of the Shows Division at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. "The play brings up so many questions, for children and adults alike, that we always have plenty to discuss."
One Destiny is supported by a grant from the Susan Cook House Educational Trust.
Ed MacMurdo has been the attractions coordinator at the museum since it opened in April 2005. A stage actor and director, MacMurdo has choreographed and performed in shows at the ALPLM including "Reunion," "Lincolnesque" and "The Civil War." He opened "One Destiny" at the museum in 2009 and has given 160 performances.
Zaxxson Nation performs in the museum's "Ghosts of the Library" production. He has also appeared on every local stage, including roles in "A Chorus Line," "Chicago," "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" and "West Side Story."
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, at 212 N. Sixth St. in Springfield, is dedicated to telling the story of America's 16th president through old-fashioned scholarship and modern technology. It also serves as the state historical library.
The library holds an unparalleled collection of Lincoln material, as well as some 12 million items pertaining to other aspects of Illinois history. The museum uses traditional exhibits, eye-catching special effects and innovative story-telling techniques to educate visitors.