During Emory & Henry’s first semester of classes 176 years ago, Martin Van Buren was elected the eighth president of the United States. During this semester, we have another major election, and Emory & Henry College’s theatre department will use their fall production to showcase the election.
"44 Plays for 44 Presidents" is an exciting cutting edge play that is made up of 44 separate tiny plays about each of the American presidents. This semester, Emory & Henry will present the play as one of 44 productions nationwide all of which are aimed at getting across to young people the importance of voting.
The E&H performances begin at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 4-6 in Wiley Hall Auditorium. A 3 p.m. matinee performance will be held Sunday, Oct. 7.
As the only Virginia college or university participating in the project, Emory & Henry will represent the state that has provided eight American presidents.
“We are honored to participate in this program,” said Dr. Kelly Bremner, professor in the E&H Theatre Department. “As an institution that places a premium on citizenship and leadership, this is a great opportunity to not only showcase the immense talent of our theatre students, but also to underscore the values of our liberal arts institution. It is an amazing feeling to be part of something bigger than our one small production.”
As a part of this national theatre festival of the play, each production has been assigned one of the plays to tape and send to Chicago where the play originated. The organizers of the festival will then edit the videos into a single film version of the play that will be screened on election night in Chicago. As the 44th production added to the festival Dr. Bremner had to make do with the last play still available. Imagine her surprise when they were offered the play about Martin Van Buren. Bremner said Emory & Henry students are excited about producing a play about the president who was elected in 1836, the year classes began at the College.
Another interesting fact about Van Buren: Virginia’s “faithless electors” chose Van Buren, a Democratic Republican from New York, but all 23 of them refused to vote for his running mate, Richard Mentor Johnson. This was the only time that the Senate was forced to choose the vice president. The Senate picked Johnson anyway.
A reservation and ticket are required to guarantee a seat. Admission is free of charge to E&H students and employees. Reservations are guaranteed until 5 minutes prior to curtain.
Reservations/tickets may be secured at the Emory Train Depot from Noon- 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday, or by calling 276.944.6846 or writing email@example.com.
Reservations/tickets for the community are $12 at the door, $10 in advance, $8 for individuals 55 years and older, or for students from other institutions.