Conversation with Thomas Jefferson
Bill Barker, who has portrayed Thomas Jefferson at Colonial Williamsburg and around the world, will be at the Barter Theatre’s Gilliam Stage on Thursday, February 7, 2019 for a one-night interactive dialogue you won’t want to miss.
With our location on the colonial frontier, the early history of Washington County is closely tied to Thomas Jefferson’s America. From his father’s role as a Virginia surveyor to the westward expansion on the Wilderness Road and Lord Dunmore’s War, followed by the Fincastle Resolutions and the Overmountain Men at King’s Mountain, our history influenced Mr. Jefferson’s era as much as it was influenced by it.
Mr. Barker’s artistry combines theatre with historical scholarship and relating Jefferson’s life and times to our world today. Born and raised in Philadelphia, he graduated with a degree in history from Villanova University. He first adopted the persona of Thomas Jefferson in 1981 at Independence Hall, and has been Thomas Jefferson at Colonial Williamsburg since 1993. He has performed at Monticello, Poplar Forest, the White House, the United States Capitol, West Point, the Naval Academy and nearly every state in the nation. He has appeared as Mr. Jefferson at the Palace of Versailles, the U.S. Ambassador’s Residence, and the Musee’ de Legion L’honour in Paris and many other locations throughout France, Great Britain and Italy. He has been featured as Jefferson in numerous magazines, and in programs aired on ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, CNN, C-SPAN and Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert Report. He served as the model for sculptures of Jefferson at the Military Academy at West Point and the Virginia State Capitol.
This event is a fundraiser for the Historical Society of Washington County, Virginia. Organized in 1936, their new location at Main and Russell in Abingdon houses over 7,000 books, 180,000 digital images and over one million indexed records, many of which are not available online.
The doors will open at 6:00 pm with entertainment from local musicians “Sons of Liberty” and the “Muster Ground Musick” fife and drum corps – music from Jefferson’s era – while being seated by ushers in period attire. Tickets are $25 per adult, $15 for students.