A Play by John Drinkwater
Arranged in Five Scenes
Abridged and adapted specially for broadcasting
Produced by Howard Rose
WILLIAM J. REA as 'Abraham Lincoln ' (his original part)
'ABRAHAM LINCOLN' was first produced at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre on October 12, 1918. The production was remarkable in several ways - the author himself directed it, and the settings were designed by Sir Barry Jackson. Mr. William J. Rea then played the title-role, which he has since played in many parts of the world.
THE parlour of Abraham Lincoln's house at Springfield, Illinois, early in 1860. Mr. Stone, a farmer, and Mr. Cuffney, a storekeeper, both men of between fifty and sixty, are sitting before an early spring fire. It is dusk. but the curtains are not drawn. The men are smoking silently.
A year later. Seward's room at Washington.
William Seward, Secretary of State, is seated at his table with Johnson White and Caleb Jennings, representing the Commissioners of the Confederate States.
Nearly two years later. A small reception room at the White House. Mrs. Lincoln, dressed in a fashion perhaps a little too considered, despairing, as she now does, of any sartorial grace in her husband, and acutely conscious that she must meet this necessity of office alone, is writing. She rings the bell, and Susan, her maidservant, comes in.
IV An April evening in 1865. A farmhouse near Appomatox. General Grant, Commander-in-Chief, under Lincoln, of the Northern armies, is seated at a table with Captain Malins, an aide de-camp. He is smoking a cigar, and at intervals he replenishes his glass of whisky. Dennis, an orderly, sits at a table in the corner, writing.
V The evening of April 14, 1865. The small lounge of a theatre. On the far side are the doors of three private boxes. There is silence for a few moments. Then the sound of applause comes from the auditorium beyond. The box doors are opened. In the centre box can be seen Lincoln and Stanton, Mrs. Lincoln, another lady, and an officer talking together. The occupants come out from the other boxes into the lounge, where small knots of people have gathered from different directions, and stand or sit, talking busily.