YORKTOWN, Va., May 22, 2015 – In conjunction with the visit of the replica 18th-century French ship Hermione to Yorktown during the first weekend of June, the Yorktown Victory Center will offer an enhanced schedule of artillery demonstrations June 5-7, the first public performances of a new play on June 6, and a public lecture on June 7. The Yorktown Victory Center is a state-operated museum of the American Revolution located at 200 Water Street.
The original Hermione transported the Marquis de Lafayette to Boston in 1780 with news of increased French military support for the American War for Independence and was among French ships in the vicinity of the Siege of Yorktown in 1781. Yorktown is the first U.S. port of call for the replica ship, and the Hermione will be joined there by Jamestown Settlement’s Godspeed, a re-creation of one of the three ships that brought America’s first permanent English colonists to Virginia in 1607.
Members of the 1st and 7th Virginia Regiment Revolutionary War re-enactment groups will join museum historical interpreters in presenting artillery demonstrations at the Yorktown Victory Center on all three days of the Hermione visit to Yorktown.
“Slave Spy: The Story of James Lafayette,” an original one-act play combining live performance with film, will be presented at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. at the Yorktown Victory Center on Saturday, June 6. The character of James Armistead Lafayette, an enslaved person who worked with General Lafayette as a spy for the American cause, will be portrayed by Jamar Jones. His live narration of the tale is interspersed with videotaped segments wherein the audience meets other characters in the story. The production was commissioned by the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation and supported with a gift from Harry and Judy Wason. The half-hour play was written and directed by Abigail Schumann, an Emmy® Award-winning producer at Colonial Williamsburg Productions.
Alan Hoffman, president of the American Friends of Lafayette, will present “Lafayette and the Farewell Tour: Odyssey of an American Idol” at 1 p.m., Sunday, June 7, at the Yorktown Victory Center. The lecture will explore the full extent of Lafayette’s extraordinary reputation based on his military record in the Revolution, his friendship with George Washington, and his continued support of American interests. Mr. Hoffman, who has practiced law in Boston for 40 years, translated and published in English Auguste Lavasseur’s “Lafayette in America in 1824 and 1825,” a firsthand account of Lafayette’s Farewell Tour of America, when he visited all 24 states and Washington City as the last surviving major general of the Continental Army. Mr. Hoffman will be available to sign copies of his book prior to and following the lecture.
Admission to the play and the lecture is included with admission to the Yorktown Victory Center. Advance reservations to the lecture are recommended by calling (757) 253-4572 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Yorktown Victory Center is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Inside a new museum building, three Revolution-theme films are shown on a rotating basis, and an illustrated timeline transports visitors from the 1750s to the 1790s. Visitors can try on reproductions of a French regimental coat and uniforms of other nationalities present at the 1781 Siege of Yorktown. Outdoors, visitors can witness an array of artillery demonstrations June 5-7 and engage with historical interpreters at the re-created Continental Army encampment and Revolution-era farm.
Admission to the Yorktown Victory Center is $9.75 for adults, $5.50 for ages 6 through 12. A combination ticket is available with Jamestown Settlement. For more information, call (888) 593-4682 toll-free or (757) 253-4838.