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Your Colonel - Part One of the Aaron Burr Cycle

Aaron Burr's illicit romance with a British teenager, the first submarine used in war, and an assassination attempt on George Washington

In partnership with
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Your Colonel is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the purposes of Your Colonel must be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

Your Colonel is the first part in The Aaron Burr Cycle, a nine-part series: three plays of three acts each, but designed so that each act can be produced on its own, or the whole cycle can be produced together as one epic repertory theatrical event. It's a unique modular concept that will make these plays easily accessible for producers, presenters, and audiences around the country.

And, because we are a fiscally sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization, all donations are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

Chris Ryan (Aaron Burr) in rehearsal on the Metropolitan Playhouse stage
Chris Ryan (Aaron Burr) in rehearsal on the Metropolitan Playhouse stage

What You Will Make Possible

Your support will last far beyond this initial production. Your Colonel kicks off the Aaron Burr Cycle, a unique project that will continue bearing fruit for years to come. Over the course of the cycle, we'll be following the birth of the United States through Burr's eyes and remarkable experiences, shining a new light on the men and women who laid the foundations for the 18th century's most audacious experiment.

The production in January is the continuation and culmination of six months of readings and workshops, and the first step towards the much great Burr Cycle. By supporting this production, you're not only getting in on the ground floor of a fantastic production (and getting some cool and one-of-a-kind keepsakes), you are helping to lay foundations, too: for a hugely ambitious and lasting addition to the American canon.

Why Now

There's a lot of great new work in the theater these days, but there's nothing quite like Your Colonel and the Aaron Burr Cycle.

This play, and its siblings down the line, bring us back to our roots. Transforming iconic historic figures -- who often seem to be born more of folklore than of flesh and blood -- into complicated, conflicted, and deeply real people. Doing for our great historic figures what Shakespeare did for the great English Kings: making their passions, struggles, and  complications accessible and bringing them into a modern cultural dialogue.

The setting of the play, Israel Putnam's house at 1 Broadway in 1776.
The setting of the play, Israel Putnam's house at 1 Broadway in 1776.

The Story

Many of us know Aaron Burr for his famous duel with Hamilton, others for his time as Vice President (and his ultimate trial for treason) under Thomas Jefferson, and some for the odd irony of his fight for women's rights and education while maintaining his reputation as a notorious philanderer. But few know much about the young man who fought in the Revolutionary War, quickly climbed to being a top aide to many of the most powerful American officers, and dreamed of becoming the Alexander of the New World.

Your Colonel starts us off at the lowest tip of Manhattan in July, 1776, the day of the first public reading in New York of the Declaration of Independence. The night before, thousands of American soldiers turned into an impassioned mob, roaring down Broadway after hearing their own private reading of the Declaration, tearing down the triumphant statue of King George on the Bowling Green, decapitating it, and impaling the gilded iron head on a pike at the entrance to a popular tavern.

In the middle of this violent and volitile society is Margaret Moncrieffe, a young British girl and the daughter to an influential British Major. She resides temporarily with General Israel Putnam, the man in charge of New York and an old friend of her father. She falls for Putnam's chief aide-de-camp, Aaron Burr, and their impossible love gets caught in the fervant chaos of the revolution. 

The first table read of "Your Colonel." From left: Jessica Renee Russell* (Margaret Moncrieffe), Lauren Sowa* (Ethel Putnam), Josh Luria (director), Michele Connolly* (stage manager), Chris Ryan (Aaron Burr), Heather Cunningham* (Martha Washington)
The first table read of "Your Colonel." From left: Jessica Renee Russell* (Margaret Moncrieffe), Lauren Sowa* (Ethel Putnam), Josh Luria (director), Michele Connolly* (stage manager), Chris Ryan (Aaron Burr), Heather Cunningham* (Martha Washington)

This Production

Your Colonel will have its world premiere at the Metropolitan Playhouse January 18, 2013, in a fully-staged and realized workshop production as a part of the Founders Festival.

This first production is directed by Joshua Luria and stage managed by Michele Connolly*.

The cast includes Chris Ryan as Aaron Burr, Jessica Renee Russell* as Margaret Moncrieffe, Kevin Gilmartin* as George Washington, Heather Cunningham* as Martha Washington, and Lauren Sowa* and Kelsea Baker as the youngest daughters of General Israel Putnam.

Costume design is by Katja Andreiev, sound design is by Michael Feld, art direction is by Sara Slagle, dialect coaching is by Charley Layton, and fight choreography is by Turner Smith.

* members of Actors' Equity. AEA-approved showcase.

 

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