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Please Join Me For Some Fun And Civil War History

CHQ Chairman Richard A. Viguerie and Confederate General John Belle Hood


On June 6th, the Stone Hill Players will be giving the WORLD PREMIERE of James Reston’s “Sherman the Peacemaker.”  It is a story of “the last days and immediate aftermath of the Civil War, as General William Tecumseh Sherman completes his ‘march to the sea’ across Georgia and the Carolinas, and secures the surrender of General Joseph E. Johnston – the after Appomattox surrender that is less celebrated, more controversial, and equally important to understanding America after the war.”

And one of the “stars,” or at least one of the actors in the play, is yours truly – Richard A. Viguerie – playing a Confederate General  – General John Belle Hood – and a Senator.

I know… I can hear you saying, “I didn’t know you could act.”  Well, maybe I can or maybe I can’t, but wouldn’t it be fun to find out?   “How did I get a part in a play?” you ask.   Well, I would love to say that I auditioned along with hundreds of other want-to-be actors searching for their first big break, but, basically, I was in the right place at the right time to get roped into this fantastic life experience. 

Most of the players in this production are friends who come together on Sunday mornings (rain, cold, shine or snow) at a small Mom and Pop store, Laurel Mills General Store in Castleton, Virginia.  Our discussions are always lively and fun even though we are from vastly different political backgrounds.  During this process we have become good friends who can have intense discussions, but always have respect and consideration for each other.   It is rare to find such togetherness in a group consisting of Liberals, Conservatives, Libertarians, Independents, and just-plain cantankerous country folk.  One member happens to be the well-known author and playwright, James Reston.

So last year, not unlike Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland, we decided to form a theater group called the Stone Hill Players and put on a play.  And we did, to great success.  It was called “Galileo’s Torch” by James Reston, and this historic epic went on to be presented for two nights at the Italian Embassy in Washington, DC.   But for our first performance we didn’t present it in a barn like Mickey and Judy, we used the elegant, unique, amazing stone amphitheater created by John Henry at the Stone Hill Farm located in Flint Hill, Virginia.  You can see pictures of this amazing site here:

As for the cast of the play, I can only say that the Stone Hill Players is one of the most unique, rag-tag theatre groups you will ever find. We are never without opinions since it includes: professional actors who have appeared in productions at the Kennedy Center, Arena Stage, The Shakespeare Theatre, Ford’s Theatre, Folger Theatre and film; a federal judge; a military general; a former senior adviser to the POTUS; an architect; manager of hedge funds; lawyers; artists; businessmen; an editor of a major magazine; and the afore-mentioned cantankerous country folk.  That such a disperse group can cooperate and work towards one goal is truly awe inspiring.  (However, we are careful not to include real knives, guns or swords in our productions.)  You can find a list of these performers here:

The stone amphitheater in Flint Hill is beautifully located in the rolling countryside of Rappahannock County.  A great place to bring a picnic dinner (and maybe a bottle of wine) and enjoy an interesting, thought-provoking play.  This is a marvelous educational experience for families and there is one other added benefit.  The proceeds from this performance will be donated to KID PAN ALLEY, an organization that “inspires children to be creators of their own music.”   There’s a suggested donation of $20 per person ($10 for children under 10) and it’s tax deductible. 

I invite you to join us in supporting the cause of KID PAN ALLEY, in learning about the Civil War and in having an evening of fun with the Stone Hill Players at John Henry’s beautiful amphitheater at Stone Hill Farm. Here are the details for the play http://WWW.SHERMANPEACEMAKER.COM  I hope you will join us June 6, amphitheater groounds open for picnicking at 5:00 p.m. and the play starts promptly at 7:00 p.m.

P.S. – For those who live within an hour or so drive of Rappahannock, please consider joining me and my interesting and fun friends, the Stone Hill players, for an exciting evening of theater.  I guarantee you will have a pleasant evening in a beautiful location and learn a little bit about the Civil War.  Plus at the conclusion of the play you may be able to even answer that age old question, “but can he act?” You won’t know unless you come.  But in the meantime, I do plan to keep my day job.

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Sounds like great fun

too bad I can't make it. Congratulations and enjoy. (break a leg ??)