Tag Archives: theater

Lincoln Bicentennial: President Obama and the Country Celebrate Lincoln’s 200th Birthday

Posted by Audiegrl (a proud Illini)

“I can say that I feel a special gratitude to this singular figure who, in so many ways, made my own story possible — and who, in so many ways, made America’s story possible”~~President Barack Obama

obama_lincoln_090213_sshWhiteHouse.gov—Thursday night, at a dinner celebrating the Lincoln bicentennial in Springfield, Ill., President Obama delivered remarks standing before a portrait of the 16th President.

The Great Emancipator would have been 200 years old today, and President Obama is marking the occasion in several ways. This morning he spoke at the Lincoln bicentennial celebration on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, and tonight he’ll address the 102nd Abraham Lincoln Association Annual Banquet Dinner.

Last night he appeared at the Re-Opening of Ford’s Theatre, the site of the April 14, 1865, assassination of President Lincoln. Big names like Katie Couric, James Earl Jones, and Jeffrey Wright, appeared, and there performances by the President’s Own Marine Band, violinist Joshua Bell, and Audra McDonald, among others.

As part of the festivities in Springfield, Ill., a man portraying Abraham Lincoln prepares to lead a candlelight parade from Lincoln's home and to the Old State Capitol.

As part of the festivities in Springfield, Ill., a man portraying Abraham Lincoln prepares to lead a candlelight parade from Lincoln's home and to the Old State Capitol.

The 44th President commended the 16th’s many accomplishments, but made particular note of his commitment to the future, even amid the upheaval of the Civil War.

When President Lincoln was finally told of all the metal being used at the Capitol, his response was short and clear: That is as it should be,” President Obama said in his remarks. “The American people needed to be reminded, he believed, that even in a time of war, the work would go on; that even when the nation itself was in doubt, the future was being secured; and that on that distant day when the guns fell silent, a national capitol would stand, with a statue of freedom at its peak, as a symbol of unity in the land still mending its divisions.

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Filed under Abraham Lincoln, Culture, History, Illinois, Politics, Pres. Barack Obama, Springfield, IL, Uncategorized

Halloween at the White House 2009

Two Events, 2,000 Kids, & A 1,000 Pound Presidential Pumpkin



A volunteer decorates the North Portico of the White House

A volunteer decorates the North Portico of the White House

Obama FoodoramaPresident Boo-rack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama open the White House for Halloween…with a special focus on Military Families

President Obama and Mrs. Obama will host two different Halloween events today, for their very first All Hallows Eve at the Executive Mansion. The first event will be for school children, who are invited to come trick-or-treat, and the second will be for military families, the children of White House staff, and the children of residence staff. Yesterday, truckloads of pumpkins, hay bales, and other decorations were delivered to the White House (as well as cobwebs!) to prepare for today’s events, and a special 1,000 pound Presidential Pumpkin was trucked in from Wisconsin. And given that the White House is said to be haunted* by more than just the ghosts of Republican administrations past, it should be a very busy and authentic holiday!

On the North Lawn driveway, volunteers carve one of three massive pumpkins shipped in for the festivities

On the North Lawn driveway, volunteers carve one of three massive pumpkins shipped in for the festivities

2,000 lucky “local” kids…and the special White House treats
For the first event, the White House and Department of Education chose schools from DC, Maryland, and Virginia to send 2,000 kids, ages 6-14, to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for special trick-or-treating, which will start at around 6:30 PM. The kids and their parents will troop by the “front door” of the White House, which is the North Portico (getting spider’d at top of post). “Traditional candy“–special presidential White House M&Ms–will be handed out, as well as a sweet dough butter cookie made by White House Executive Pastry chef Bill Yosses. In keeping with Mrs. Obama’s nutrition agenda, kids will also be given a serving of a dried fruit mix made with cherries, apricots, pears, apples and papayas. They’ll also be treated to a National Park Foundation Ranger activity book.

Military Families, and Staff Kids…
trick_treat_1029At 7:00 PM, President and Mrs. Obama will host a reception for military families and children of White House and residence staff in the East Room, which will be co-hosted by Vice President Joe Biden and Mrs. Biden. The focus on military families is part of a continuing effort to support our troops and their families at home. Since January, President and Mrs. Obama have both appeared at numerous military bases; earlier this week, Mrs. Obama and Mrs. Biden appeared at Game 1 of the World Series, which was dedicated to military veterans. The Fourth of July bash at the White House was in honor of military families, too. The Redmoon theatre company will perform. The Chicago-based company describes its productions as “equal parts pageantry, gadgetry, acrobatics, and ephemera,” so it should be quite a show.

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Redmoon to do Halloween show at the White House and treat Obama’s and military family’s with skeleton crew

Puppets designed by Kass Copeland may be used in Redmoon's Halloween presentation

Puppets designed by Kass Copeland may be used in Redmoon's Halloween presentation

Chicago Sun Times/Hedy Weiss—It’s still very hush-hush, top secret and high security in nature. But word has it that Chicago’s Redmoon Theater, which has made its mark during the past 19 seasons as the masterful creator of grand-scale spectacles staged both outdoors and in traditional theaters, has been invited to the White House for a special Halloween performance on Saturday.

Though all details of the event are being closely guarded until then, what is known so far is that an invitation from President Obama and the first lady has generated a beehive of activity at Redmoon, where skeletons and crows and other seasonal fright objects are being crafted, and where a lot of thought is going into which of these might be presented as gifts to the first family.

For minute-by-minute updates on Redmoon’s plans, go to the troupe’s blog.

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Filed under Children, Holidays, Military, Pop Culture, Uncategorized, Washington, DC