NEPA Scene Staff

Scranton play tells Abraham Lincoln assassination story from the witnesses’ side

Scranton play tells Abraham Lincoln assassination story from the witnesses’ side
Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

From a press release:

In April of 1865, the lives of those who witnessed the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln changed forever.

As the 150th anniversary of this tragic time in American history approaches, an original play written and directed by Scranton playwright Caleb-Matthew C. Williams brings the story of the witnesses to center stage. Presented by Diva Productions at the Olde Brick Theatre (126 W. Market St., Scranton), “Witness” runs Wednesday, April 15 through Saturday, April 18 at 8 p.m., and Sunday, April 19 at 4 p.m.

“Witness” is a dramatization of the lives of some of those present at Ford’s Theatre on the day John Wilkes Booth shot President Lincoln. The show provides perspective on the lives of three people executed for being a part of the conspiracy. Following the shooting, “witnesses” testify about what they saw at the theatre that evening and how the event shaped the remainder of their lives.

A thought-provoking, timely production, “Witness” includes a talented cast, many of whom are residents of Northeastern Pennsylvania. Among them are Paige Balitski (Mrs. Muzzy/producer), Bob Balitski (lighting director, sound director, producer), Sandra Opshinsky (Mrs. Taft), Kelly Ann Walsh (Jeannie Gourlay), Liz Stanton (Katherine Evans), Marnie Azzarelli (Mary Surratt), Chris Eibach (Henry Rathbone), Dominick Azzarelli (David E. Herold), John Arena (Dr. Charles Sabin Taft), Eric Lutz (William Whithers), Mandy Boyle (Laura Keene), and David Hunish (E.A. Emerson), all residents of Scranton; Leba Lanton (Clara Harris), of Clarks Green; EJ Leeson (Harry Ford), of Ransom; Sadie Shapiro (Charlotte Whithers), Susan Shapiro (producer), and Jacob Wescott (Jacob Soles), all of Clarks Summit; Paul J. Gallo (William T. Kent), of Olyphant; Kathryn Priestash (Mrs. Nelson Todd) and John Jacobs (Mr. Nelson Todd), both of Luzerne County; and Drake Nester (Lewis Powell, Harry Hawk), of Pittston.

Tickets for shows Wednesday through Saturday are $12 for general admission and $10 for senior citizens. Tickets for Sunday’s show are $15, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Lackawanna Historical Society. Free parking is available in the lot behind the theater and on the street. To purchase tickets, e-mail or call 570-209-7766.

For more information, visit Caleb-Matthew C. Williams’ “Witness” on Facebook.