The Thaumaturgy Department

(It's dramaturgy, not thaumaturgy.)

Gavin
CENTERSTAGE
Baltimore
Maryland
USA

thaumaturg
Main Entry: thau·ma·turg
Pronunciation: \ˈthȯ-mə-ˌtərj\
Function: noun
Etymology: French, from New Latin thaumaturgus, from Greek thaumatourgos working miracles, from thaumat-, thauma miracle + ergon work — more at Theater, Work

2014-2015 Season:
Amadeus
Next to Normal
It's A Wonderful Life
One Night in Miami
Herzog Rep
After the Revolution
4000 Miles
Marley
Play Labs

The official blog of the Dramaturgy Department at Baltimore's CENTERSTAGE. For posts related to our current and upcoming shows, click the links to the right. Alternatively, you could begin at the beginning, and explore our posts in chronological order.

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Snapshots in time from 2-day workshop for AT WAR WITH OURSELVES, a secular oratorio composed by Terence Blanchard to a libretto by Nikky Finney, to be performed by the Kronos Quartet and an enormous choir next September (2015) - commemorating the 150th year since the end of the US Civil War. #AWWO @t_blanchard @kronosquartet @TheClariceUMD @andmegansaid



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thecivilwarparlor:

The Memoirs Of General Ulysses S. Grant
Mark Twain approached Grant about publishing the war hero’s memoirs with a plum deal that would give Grant 75 percent of the profits as royalties.
Cash-strapped Grant had little choice but to accept Twain’s offer, and the Civil War-focused “Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant” hit stores in 1885.
Grant’s memoirs were an instant runaway hit. Twain’s company made the clever choice of employing former Union soldiers in full uniform as salesmen, and the book became one of the best sellers of the 19th century.
Today, the book is considered by many to be the best presidential memoir ever written, but there’s some controversy over who actually did the bulk of the writing. Twain always claimed that he had only made slight edits to Grant’s text, but the prose was so strong that many suspected Twain himself had ghostwritten the book.
Sadly, Grant didn’t get to see the success of his book; he died shortly after its completion. But his widow Julia banked over $400,000 in royalties from the memoir.
Photo By Alexander Gardner , Mammoth-Plate Albumen Print Circa 1865
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ulysses_S_Grant_by_Gardner,_c1865.jpg
http://www.cnn.com/2010/LIVING/09/20/mf.history.of.presidential.memoirs/

thecivilwarparlor:

The Memoirs Of General Ulysses S. Grant

Mark Twain approached Grant about publishing the war hero’s memoirs with a plum deal that would give Grant 75 percent of the profits as royalties.

Cash-strapped Grant had little choice but to accept Twain’s offer, and the Civil War-focused “Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant” hit stores in 1885.

Grant’s memoirs were an instant runaway hit. Twain’s company made the clever choice of employing former Union soldiers in full uniform as salesmen, and the book became one of the best sellers of the 19th century.

Today, the book is considered by many to be the best presidential memoir ever written, but there’s some controversy over who actually did the bulk of the writing. Twain always claimed that he had only made slight edits to Grant’s text, but the prose was so strong that many suspected Twain himself had ghostwritten the book.

Sadly, Grant didn’t get to see the success of his book; he died shortly after its completion. But his widow Julia banked over $400,000 in royalties from the memoir.

Photo By Alexander Gardner , Mammoth-Plate Albumen Print Circa 1865

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ulysses_S_Grant_by_Gardner,_c1865.jpg

http://www.cnn.com/2010/LIVING/09/20/mf.history.of.presidential.memoirs/



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thecivilwarparlor:



"In my feeble estimation, General McClellan, with all his laurels, sinks into insignificance beside the true heroine of the age, the angel of the battlefield."Dr. James DunnSurgeon at the Battle of Antietam


With the outbreak of war and the cascade of wounded Union soldiers into Washington, Miss Barton quickly recognized the unpreparedness of the Army Medical Department. For nearly a year, she lobbied the Army bureaucracy in vain to bring her own medical supplies to the battlefields. Finally, with the help of sympathetic U. S. Senator Henry Wilson of Massachusetts, Miss Barton was permitted to bring her supplies to the battlefield. Her self-appointed military duties brought her to some of the ugliest battlefields of 1862—Cedar Mountain, Va., Second Manassas, Va., Antietam, Md., and Fredericksburg, Va.


 "I may sometimes be willing to teach for nothing, but if paid at all, I shall never do a man’s work for less than a man’s pay." Clara Barton


http://slowbuddy.com/quotes/25-outstanding-past-quotes/

thecivilwarparlor:

"In my feeble estimation, General McClellan, with all his laurels, sinks into insignificance beside the true heroine of the age, the angel of the battlefield."

Dr. James Dunn


Surgeon at the Battle of Antietam

With the outbreak of war and the cascade of wounded Union soldiers into Washington, Miss Barton quickly recognized the unpreparedness of the Army Medical Department. For nearly a year, she lobbied the Army bureaucracy in vain to bring her own medical supplies to the battlefields. Finally, with the help of sympathetic U. S. Senator Henry Wilson of Massachusetts, Miss Barton was permitted to bring her supplies to the battlefield. Her self-appointed military duties brought her to some of the ugliest battlefields of 1862—Cedar Mountain, Va., Second Manassas, Va., Antietam, Md., and Fredericksburg, Va.

 "I may sometimes be willing to teach for nothing, but if paid at all, I shall never do a man’s work for less than a man’s pay." Clara Barton

http://slowbuddy.com/quotes/25-outstanding-past-quotes/



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thecivilwarparlor:

A British Volunteer That Joined The Fight In America’s Civil War- The Battle Of Chancellorsville 
One man caught up in the carnage was Henry George Hore, an ordinary bank clerk from Sussex who had sailed to the U.S. in April to join the Northern army. He was appalled as he watched the mounting fatalities. 
‘Good God, my dear girl, it was awful,’ he wrote to his cousin, Olivia, back home in England. ‘The dead seemed piled heaps upon heaps.’
That day Hore killed a man for the first time. It was a Southerner whom he had seen plunge a sword into the chest of one of his close friends. 
‘Killing him did not take 30 seconds. I sighted him along the barrel of my revolver and if I had not killed him the first time would have shot him again.’
Why Would The English Want To Fight In An American War? $
There were more than three million British immigrants living in the U.S. at the time — despite the fact that a bitter Anglophobia rooted in British colonial rule almost 100 years earlier was still widespread.

And at home, not only was slavery a deeply emotive political topic since being abolished in England three decades earlier, but so, too, was cotton. The livelihoods of 900,000 workers — nearly one in five of the entire national workforce — depended in one way or another on cotton from the Southern states.

The result was that thousands of ­Britons disobeyed the Government’s neutrality injunction to volunteer for either the Federal or Confederate army — anti-slavery protesters and mercenaries, in the main, joined the North. Idealists who saw the ‘plucky’ Southern states as the underdog fighting for justifiable independence, along with soldiers of fortune, signed up with the South.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1330735/Thousands-British-volunteers-gave-lives-Americas-civil-war.html#ixzz2lzvk6gvJ 

thecivilwarparlor:

A British Volunteer That Joined The Fight In America’s Civil War- The Battle Of Chancellorsville 

One man caught up in the carnage was Henry George Hore, an ordinary bank clerk from Sussex who had sailed to the U.S. in April to join the Northern army. He was appalled as he watched the mounting fatalities. 

‘Good God, my dear girl, it was awful,’ he wrote to his cousin, Olivia, back home in England. ‘The dead seemed piled heaps upon heaps.’

That day Hore killed a man for the first time. It was a Southerner whom he had seen plunge a sword into the chest of one of his close friends. 

‘Killing him did not take 30 seconds. I sighted him along the barrel of my revolver and if I had not killed him the first time would have shot him again.’

Why Would The English Want To Fight In An American War? $

There were more than three million British immigrants living in the U.S. at the time — despite the fact that a bitter Anglophobia rooted in British colonial rule almost 100 years earlier was still widespread.

And at home, not only was slavery a deeply emotive political topic since being abolished in England three decades earlier, but so, too, was cotton. The livelihoods of 900,000 workers — nearly one in five of the entire national workforce — depended in one way or another on cotton from the Southern states.

The result was that thousands of ­Britons disobeyed the Government’s neutrality injunction to volunteer for either the Federal or Confederate army — anti-slavery protesters and mercenaries, in the main, joined the North. Idealists who saw the ‘plucky’ Southern states as the underdog fighting for justifiable independence, along with soldiers of fortune, signed up with the South.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1330735/Thousands-British-volunteers-gave-lives-Americas-civil-war.html#ixzz2lzvk6gvJ 





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thecivilwarparlor:

Confederate Envoys Reached London, And Many Englishmen Remained Susceptible To The Southern Claim.

English politicians, like the radical John Bright and the Whig Duke of Argyll, ardently supported the North, plenty sided with the Confederacy. They even included W. E. Gladstone, on his long journey from youthful Tory to “the people’s William,” adored by the masses in his later years. Apart from sympathy with the underdog, many Englishmen believed that the South had a just claim of national self-determination.

The American population claims ancestry from British immigrants, great numbers of them arriving throughout the 19th century. Plenty of those took part in the war, and they were joined by more volunteers who came just for the fight, on one side or the other. The extraordinary cast portrayed in “A World on Fire,” by Amanda Foreman — who is also the author of “Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire” — extends from men who fled England to escape poverty to aristocratic Union officers like Major John Fitzroy de Courcy, later Lord Kingsale, a veteran of the Crimea, not to mention Colonel Sir Percy Wyndham, a soldier of fortune whose knighthood was actually Italian. Some, like the Welshman Henry Morton Stanley, even managed to fight for both sides.

“A World on Fire: Britain’s Crucial Role in the American Civil War,” by Amanda Foreman,  http://www.amazon.com/World-Fire-Britains-Crucial-American/dp/0375756965

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/03/books/review/book-review-a-world-on-fire-by-amanda-foreman.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0



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thecivilwarparlor:

California Joe- (PVT Truman Head)-

Company C First Regiment Berdan’s Sharpshooters

Almost as famous as Hiram Berdan himself, Truman Head of Company C of the First Regiment was unquestionably the most famous among Berdan’s Sharpshooters. Nicknamed “California Joe”, “Old Californy”, and “Old California,” Joe came west from New York to seek his fortune after a failed romance. Joe was 52 years old at the time he enlisted, but stated his age as 42, otherwise he would have been rejected. Joe brought to the sharpshooters a background of a hunter and gold miner which could have made enough fodder for interesting news stories but Joe was found to have a keen eye and a great marksman without any embellishments by the press. Joe’s image and his exploits made for good reading in a time where the Union was sorely lacking heroes and good news from the war.

One of the greatest impacts Joe had on the Sharpshooters themselves was his private purchase of a Sharps rifle. It may have been Joes experience that made them want their own Sharps’ as well. Sadly, Joe’s time in the sharpshooters was quite limited. His age caught up with him and his sight was starting to fail him. Joe was discharged November 4,1862 for “senility and impaired vision.” Joe returned to California and became a customs inspector in San Francisco. He died November 24,1874.

http://www.1stussharpshooters.com/oldcompanyc.html



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thecivilwarparlor:

Soldier In Union Army Sergeant Uniform 1864

1,764 men of color served Connecticut during the Civil War between 1863 and 1867. The level of black participation in Connecticut regiments was astounding considering that the 1860 census revealed only 8,726 blacks living in the state; of them only 2,206 were men between the ages of 15 and 50 (the most likely ages for service). This meant that some 78% of eligible black men enlisted. Just over 15% of these men died as a result of the war. -
Black and white carte de visite of a black man dressed in a Union Army Sergeant uniform with sergeant stripes, long straight sword hung from belt, and left hand holding a copy of a book entitled “The Great Rebellion,” by Joel Tyler Headley. 10 cm x 7 cm. Photograph by J. Oldershaw, northeast corner of High and Asylum Streets, Hartford, Connecticut. Courtesy of the Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.
See more at: http://connecticuthistory.org/connecticuts-black-civil-war-regiment/#sthash.FiTqDOav.dpuf  Photo Credit WIKI

"Colored" Federal troops, and their particular experiences, form one of the central threads of Paula’s tapestry in A Civil War Christmas.

thecivilwarparlor:

Soldier In Union Army Sergeant Uniform 1864

1,764 men of color served Connecticut during the Civil War between 1863 and 1867. The level of black participation in Connecticut regiments was astounding considering that the 1860 census revealed only 8,726 blacks living in the state; of them only 2,206 were men between the ages of 15 and 50 (the most likely ages for service). This meant that some 78% of eligible black men enlisted. Just over 15% of these men died as a result of the war. -

Black and white carte de visite of a black man dressed in a Union Army Sergeant uniform with sergeant stripes, long straight sword hung from belt, and left hand holding a copy of a book entitled “The Great Rebellion,” by Joel Tyler Headley. 10 cm x 7 cm. Photograph by J. Oldershaw, northeast corner of High and Asylum Streets, Hartford, Connecticut. Courtesy of the Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.

See more at: http://connecticuthistory.org/connecticuts-black-civil-war-regiment/#sthash.FiTqDOav.dpuf  Photo Credit WIKI

"Colored" Federal troops, and their particular experiences, form one of the central threads of Paula’s tapestry in A Civil War Christmas.



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thecivilwarparlor:

Mosby’s Rangers
Mosby’s men never formally surrendered and were disbanded on April 21, 1865, almost two weeks after Lee had surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia to Grant. On the last day of Mosby’s striking force, a letter from him was read aloud to his men:
Soldiers!I have summoned you together for the last time. The vision we have cherished of a free and independent country, has vanished, and that country is now the spoil of a conqueror. I disband your organization in preference to surrendering it to our enemies. I am no longer your commander. After association of more than two eventful years, I part from you with a just pride, in the fame of your achievements, and grateful recollections of your generous kindness to myself. And now at this moment of bidding you a final adieu accept the assurance of my unchanging confidence and regard.Farewell. John S. Mosby, Col.Wert, Jeffry D., Mosby’s Rangers, Simon and Schuster, 1991

Mosby & his men of course play a vital, if offstage, role in our play.

thecivilwarparlor:

Mosby’s Rangers

Mosby’s men never formally surrendered and were disbanded on April 21, 1865, almost two weeks after Lee had surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia to Grant. On the last day of Mosby’s striking force, a letter from him was read aloud to his men:

Soldiers!I have summoned you together for the last time. The vision we have cherished of a free and independent country, has vanished, and that country is now the spoil of a conqueror. I disband your organization in preference to surrendering it to our enemies. I am no longer your commander. After association of more than two eventful years, I part from you with a just pride, in the fame of your achievements, and grateful recollections of your generous kindness to myself. And now at this moment of bidding you a final adieu accept the assurance of my unchanging confidence and regard.Farewell. John S. Mosby, Col.Wert, Jeffry D.Mosby’s Rangers, Simon and Schuster, 1991

Mosby & his men of course play a vital, if offstage, role in our play.



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thecivilwarparlor:

Halloween And The Civil War-“Reaping the Harvest” 
Thomas Nast’s illustration of Jefferson Davis “Reaping the Harvest”, taken from Harper’s Weekly in October 1861. The precise date of publication - October 26 - a ghoulish image timed for Halloween.
Davis is portrayed with deathly eyes, reaping plants and skulls with a curved sword. Underneath him is a snake and above him a twisted tree with crow perched on it and noose hanging from it. Davis is viewed as the ultimate traitor and this cartoon suggests that he will bring death.
Title: Jeff Davis reaping the harvest
Date Created/Published: 1861 October 26.
Medium: 1 print : wood engraving.
Summary: Jefferson Davis reaping stalks, with small skulls on the top.
Reproduction Number: LC-USZ62-115352 (b&w film copy neg.)


though we are exploring Yuletide in the Civil War currently, here’s some Halloween background in honor of the moment.

thecivilwarparlor:

Halloween And The Civil War-“Reaping the Harvest” 

Thomas Nast’s illustration of Jefferson Davis “Reaping the Harvest”, taken from Harper’s Weekly in October 1861. The precise date of publication - October 26 - a ghoulish image timed for Halloween.

Davis is portrayed with deathly eyes, reaping plants and skulls with a curved sword. Underneath him is a snake and above him a twisted tree with crow perched on it and noose hanging from it. Davis is viewed as the ultimate traitor and this cartoon suggests that he will bring death.

  • Title: Jeff Davis reaping the harvest
  • Date Created/Published: 1861 October 26.
  • Medium: 1 print : wood engraving.
  • Summary: Jefferson Davis reaping stalks, with small skulls on the top.
  • Reproduction Number: LC-USZ62-115352 (b&w film copy neg.)

though we are exploring Yuletide in the Civil War currently, here’s some Halloween background in honor of the moment.



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thecivilwarparlor:

Portrait in Hardtack
This hardtack tintype frame and portrait of Augustus Bigelow Hayes, from the Division of Armed Forces History,  one of many unique objects shared in the book ”Smithsonian Civil War: Inside the National Collection” 
Owned by Augustus Bigelow Hayes, who signed up in the First Ohio Volunteers at the age of 17. He fought in battles across the Western theater and was wounded at the Battle of Stones River, Tennessee, in 1862, but recovered to become a successful businessman and politician back home in Ohio.
He had this tintype portrait taken after his injury, posing as if to say, “It’ll take more than that to kill me.” In the winter of 1864-1865, Hayes was issued this piece of hardtack, the rock-hard cracker that was a mainstay of soldier’s rations, and he carved out its center to form a frame for his soldier’s portrait. He then took it home after the war, where it miraculously survived until the family gave it to the museum in 1979.
The Book Can Be Bought Here: 
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1588343898?ie=UTF8&tag=wwwsmithsonia-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1588343898
Source: http://blog.americanhistory.si.edu/osaycanyousee/2013/10/uniquely-smithsonian-500-civil-war-objects-get-a-fresh-look.html

thecivilwarparlor:

Portrait in Hardtack

This hardtack tintype frame and portrait of Augustus Bigelow Hayes, from the Division of Armed Forces History,  one of many unique objects shared in the book ”Smithsonian Civil War: Inside the National Collection” 

Owned by Augustus Bigelow Hayes, who signed up in the First Ohio Volunteers at the age of 17. He fought in battles across the Western theater and was wounded at the Battle of Stones River, Tennessee, in 1862, but recovered to become a successful businessman and politician back home in Ohio.

He had this tintype portrait taken after his injury, posing as if to say, “It’ll take more than that to kill me.” In the winter of 1864-1865, Hayes was issued this piece of hardtack, the rock-hard cracker that was a mainstay of soldier’s rations, and he carved out its center to form a frame for his soldier’s portrait. He then took it home after the war, where it miraculously survived until the family gave it to the museum in 1979.

The Book Can Be Bought Here: 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1588343898?ie=UTF8&tag=wwwsmithsonia-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1588343898

Source: http://blog.americanhistory.si.edu/osaycanyousee/2013/10/uniquely-smithsonian-500-civil-war-objects-get-a-fresh-look.html



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Baptist Preacher, Alma Plantation, False River, LA #CSDance

Baptist Preacher, Alma Plantation, False River, LA #CSDance



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