Thursday, December 30, 2010

‘The Enemy Within’

All the brethren, their families, and friends are invited to the Grand Lodge of New York’s annual celebration of the birthday of none other than George Washington, a Freemason and, if I’m not mistaken, a president of the United States, and possibly a general before that. This event (Reason No. 367,712 why the Grand Lodge of New York is the center of the Masonic universe in the tri-state region) will take place Sunday, February 27, 2011 at the George Washington Headquarters National Historic site in Tappan, New York, otherwise known to Magpie readers as DeWint House.

A “living history” play will be staged. The Enemy Within: Arnold Returns Home features Gary Petagine as Benedict Arnold, and Sean Grady as a captured soldier. After committing his treason, Arnold is made a brigadier general in the British army. His forces invade New London, Connecticut (his home state), and the play’s action concerns Arnold’s conversation with a prisoner of war while a massacre is committed at nearby Fort Griswold.

This program at DeWint House will begin at 2 p.m., and there will be a “no host” buffet luncheon, sponsored by Knickerbocker Chapter No. 13 of the National Sojourners, at 11:30 a.m. just around the corner at Old ’76 House. (If you like history, you can’t do much better than a tavern that has been in continuous service since the 1600s, and that served as the jailhouse of Benedict Arnold’s accomplice, Major John Andre.)

Cost per person: $25. Pay at the door.

This birthday celebration is brought to you by Grand Lodge’s George Washington Historic Site at Tappan Committee and the Trustees of the Masonic Hall and Home, who I’m confident will keep their speeches brief.

About the featured producers, writers and players:

Gary Petagine (Benedict Arnold)

A teacher for more than 30 years, Gary has been a master teacher for the Living History Education Foundation for eight years. He is a Colonial/Revolutionary War re-enactor with the 5th New York and has portrayed Patrick Henry, Gen. Richard Montgomery, and Samuel Adams. Gary co-founded A Living History: The Revolutionary War at Carmel High School and has been featured in Putnam-Westchester County’s Journal News.

Sean Grady (Captured Soldier)

A teacher for more than 10 years in Westchester County, Sean’s “Living History” approach to teaching has been highlighted in The New York Teacher Magazine and other regional publications. Sean has been a master teacher for the Living History Foundation for eight years. He and Gary Petagine created Flight of the Dark Eagle, a course that allows teachers to walk in the footsteps of Andre and Arnold as their plot of treason unfolded throughout the Hudson Valley. A veteran of the stage, Sean has performed in more than 50 theatrical productions across New York State.

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