East Lynne Theater Company’s “Mr. Lincoln” opens June 17

“Measured against modern presidents, it is important to realize that Abraham Lincoln’s words were hand-fashioned without a single ghost writer,” wrote Herbert Mitgang, who penned two books on the 16th President before his play, “Mr. Lincoln.” In the 1980’s it was performed at Ford’s Theatre in Washington D.C., on Broadway, and in Canada, England and Australia, before it helped to inaugurate “Hallmark Hall of Fame” on PBS.

While the Lincolns were watching a comedy at Ford’s Theater on April 14,1865, John Wilkes Booth entered the President’s box, pistol in hand. In Mitgang’s play, Lincoln’s life flashes before him as the weapon is fired. Most of the monologue for this compelling play is taken directly from Lincoln’s own writings and speeches.

Portraying Lincoln is Tom Byrn, making this his seventh ELTC production. Recent performances include ELTC’s “Within the Law,” “One Slight Hitch” at Cider Mill Playhouse in Endicott, NY and “Circle Mirror Transformation” at The REP Stage near Washington D.C.

Gayle Stahlhuth, who has helmed ELTC since 1999, is directing.

On opening night, June 17, there is an after-show party at Pier House Restaurant, 1317 Beach Avenue.

“Mr. Lincoln” runs from June 17 – July 25, Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8:30 pm, except there is no show on Saturday, July 4, and a show on Sunday, July 5. The location is the First Presbyterian Church, 500 Hughes Street. Tickets: $30; $25 for seniors; $15 for students and military; ages 12 and under are free. For reservations/information: Eastlynnetheater.org, call 884-5898, or e-mail eastlynneco@aol.com.