9th Reserves staging `American Cousin'

A patron enters the front door of the Andrew Carnegie Free Library in Carnegie. (Philip G. Pavely/Tribune-Review)

By The Tribune-Review

The 9th Pennsylvania Reserves and the director of "Our American Cousin" plan to take audiences back in time when they stage the play April 14-16 at the Andrew Carnegie Free Library.

"We're not going for rave reviews," said Keith Kammenzind, the producer and a member of the reserves, a Civil War reenactment group.

"Being living historians, we want to present something Lincoln would've seen."

President Abraham Lincoln was watching the play at Ford's Theater in Washington, D.C., when John Wilkes Booth shot him on April 14, 1865. He died the next day.

1860s comedy

Play: "Our American Cousin:"

When: 8 p.m. April 14 and 15; 2 p.m. April 16.

Where: Andrew Carnegie Free Library, Beechwood Avenue, Carnegie.

Tickets: $15, $20, $25 or $30. Order at library; send check and self-addressed, stamped envelope to 9th Pennsylvania Reserves, Box 10402, Pittsburgh, PA 15234, or call (412) 344-2417, access code 3779.

The new production on the 135th anniversary of Lincoln's assassination is designed to raise money to restore a Grand Army of the Republic post at the library in Carnegie.

"Our American Cousin" was a popular drawing-room comedy in its day, said director Steve Fatla, an adjunct instructor at Carlow College and manager of the Antonian Theater on the Oakland campus.

It's about a British family, visited by an American cousin who is trying to get his share of the estate.

The library's 650-seat music hall with its low-hanging balcony is very similar to Ford's Theater, Fatla said. And while a Lincoln look-alike may show up, he said, there are no plans to re-create the shooting.

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Other History Links

Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall
Directions to "Our American Cousin"

Ninth Pennsylvania Reserves Civil War Reenactment Group

Captain Thomas Espy Post No. 153, Grand Army of the Republic,
the Civil War Museum of the Andrew Carnegie Free Library

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