This month, the Civil War comes alive at the with the ’s production of the classic musical Shenandoah.
Opening Thursday, Aug. 12 and running through Aug. 21, the production will be the first show to run in the museum’s Anderson Theater in at least six years. But the pairing of the Players Guild’s latest show and the museum was an easy match to make, explained Mike Moseley, who is the president of the guild, manager of guest services at the Henry Ford and the lead in the show.
“We’re doing this Civil War exhibit and the Henry Ford has been known for its expertise on and devotion to commemorating the civil war,” Moseley said. “We’re the home for the National Archives exhibit of Discovering the Civil War.”
Shenandoah was originally a film, released in 1965 and starring James Stewart as Charlie Anderson, a farmer and father in the town of Shenandoah, Va. Anderson is reluctant to take sides in the Civil War–until the war pulls his family in.
In 1975, the film was adapted into a musical that ran on Broadway and eventually won a Tony Award.
“It was a pretty significant, big musical in the ‘70s, and it’s not done often on the community circuit because it’s a very male-heavy cast,” said Moseley. “It’s a wonderful story of that era and of the values of family and community.”
Moseley knew the show would fit right into the museum’s sesquicentennial celebration of the war, which has included a rare showing of the Emancipation Proclamation, as well as a limited engagement exhibit of original documents and research, which runs through Sept. 5.
“We bring in lecturers and we bring in reenactors,” Moseley said of the museum’s collaborative efforts. “So I thought, what if we brought in another Dearborn group?”
Director Brian Townsend adds, “Working in cooperation with The Henry Ford is an exciting opportunity. Here we have two cultural institutions, rooted in Dearborn, using their unique talents to tell a story and reveal the history of one of our nation’s stormiest periods.”
The show will run Fridays, Aug. 12 and 19, at 8 p.m.; Saturday, Aug. 20 at 2:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.; as well as Sundays, Aug. 14 and 21, at 2:30 p.m. in the Anderson Theater, which is located inside of the Henry Ford Museum. Parking is free.
No food, drinks or photography will be permitted during the show.
Tickets are $18 and are available on the Players Guild’s website, as well as by calling 313-561-TKTS (8587). Tickets may also be purchased at the door.