by Thornton Wilder
Directed by Geoff Kershner and Aaron Thomas
The show’s costumes were designed by Deepsikha Chatterjee. The lighting designer and sound engineer was John Kiselica. The scenic design was by Krista Franco. The dramaturg was Aaron C. Thomas. The show was stage managed by Drew Neitzey.
Written in 2014, this production of The Two Gentlemen of Virginia was set in the 1780s and the 1980s. It was performed outdoors in front of Mary K. Benedict Hall on the campus of Sweet Briar College as well as outdoors at Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest.
Backstage thoughts from George West Carruth:
This show was some of the best fun I have ever had. Period. There were plenty of backstage moments that were beautiful and hilarious, but most of the gold made it into the pan. All of the best stuff was in the show. This is the part of the Two Gents when Franklin confronts Thomas Jefferson for stealing his “tour de France”. Franklin was once a brilliant performer who shot fire out of his eyes and lightning out of his arse, which explains the lightning rod you see. He is now washed up. How did I prepare for this role? I projected myself into the future. I anticipate reaching Franklin status within the next 7 months. I will start scheduling drink dates immediately. All will be welcome.
Backstage thoughts from Chris Martin (who played Thomas Jefferson):
This scene was George at his most unpredictable... which is saying something. It was frightening for everyone, because he was wielding this massive weapon. Jude Flannelly and I would always make eye contact like, “are we going to be okay?” I always looked forward to it, though! I also remember this being written as a very short scene, but by the end George had stretched to a solid ten minutes of drunkenly threatening us. It was a fascinating scene where nothing really happened.