By Michael Gioia
03 Feb 2014
At the 6 PM performance, historian Harold Holzer — a leading authority on Abraham Lincoln and the political culture of the Civil War era — will be joined by Lewis (Porgy & Bess) as Douglass and Lang (The Speed of Darkness) as Lincoln.
Here's how The Unknown "Lincoln-Douglas" Debate is billed: "Though they met at the White House several times and regularly exchanged views, Abraham Lincoln and African-American leader Frederick Douglass never publicly argued the crucial issues of slavery, freedom, and racial justice. This is the Lincoln-Douglass debate that never happened; but in this performance — using words from their actual correspondence and commentary, illustrated by period paintings, photographs, and sculpture — Harold Holzer brings Lincoln and Douglass face-to-face for an unprecedented confrontation."
Holzer serves as chairman of The Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation — successor organization to the U.S. Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission (ALBC) — to which he was appointed by President Clinton in 2000 and co-chaired from 2001–2010. President Bush, in turn, awarded Holzer the National Humanities Medal in 2008.