Blood on the Snow

blood on snow

Blood on the Snow by Patrick Gabridge   pat@gabridge.com 617-959-1437

Commissioned by the Bostonian Society, for a site-specific production at the Old State House in Boston. For info on the production or to buy tickets, visit: www.bostonmassacreplay.com

 Summary:

Run time: 60 minutes, no intermission.

Boston, March 6, 1770.
Four unarmed civilians have been killed and eight more wounded by the King’s soldiers. The Boston Town Meeting demands that the troops be removed immediately. Militia in the outlying towns are mobilizing, and rumors say 10,000 men are prepared to enter Boston to remove the soldiers by force. Acting Governor Thomas Hutchinson is presented with a stark choice –
remove the troops and give in to the mob’s demands or face another night of bloodshed. One by one, his allies desert him, leaving him alone to face an impossible decision.

Many know the story of the Boston Massacre, but few know of the events that took place the day after, on March 6, 1770, in the Council Chamber of the Old State House. Almost 250 years ago, in that very room, the leaders of Boston struggled to heal their town and unwittingly placed Massachusetts on the road to revolution.

Setting:
The Council Chambers at the Old State House in Boston.

Time:
March 6, 1770. The day after the Boston Massacre.

Production history:

Production by the Bostonian Society, in partnership with the National Park Service, scheduled for 2016

Characters: 10M

THOMAS HUTCHINSON, age 59. Lieutenant Governor and currently acting Governor of Massachusetts and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (and former member of the Boston Town Meeting and King’s Council). Extremely wealthy and powerful, has spent a lifetime involved with the governance of the colony, while also working to provide power and patronage for members of his family. His roots in Massachusetts run deep (Anne Hutchinson was his great great great grandmother). He is a great believer in the law and reason and in the power of the King and Parliament. He hopes to someday be appointed Governor of the Colony. Has had some very rocky experiences with the mob/crowd in Boston.

ANDREW OLIVER, age 63. Thomas Hutchinson’s brother-in-law and Secretary of State of Massachusetts. A member of the wealthy merchant class, he is fiercely loyal to his king and to his brother-in-law.

COLONEL WILLIAM DALRYMPLE, age 34. Born in Scotland and a soldier since he was 16 years old. Commander of the troops currently stationed in Boston. He’s been stuck in a very hostile Boston for the past two years, though he has actually made a few friends while he’s been here (he’s an officer, after all.) He’s a real soldier, and a believer in the chain of command.

ROYALL TYLER, age 46. A member of the Council and currently a supporter of the Sons of Liberty. He’s a wealthy merchant and justice of the peace, known as a meddler and self-seeker, his nickname was “Pug Sly.” A man with a big voice and a big personality.

HARRISON GRAY, age 59. Has been Treasurer of the Province for 17 years. A wealthy merchant and was known for being highly religious (and making a bit of a spectacle about it). Politically, he’s a bit of a fence-sitter. By nature conservative, he’s allied with the King’s party, but he has contacts to the Town party as well (even helped pay off Samuel Adams’ debt from the Land Bank crisis).

SAMUEL DEXTER, age 44. A wealthy merchant, who retired a the age of 36 and built a home in Dedham. A strong supporter of the Sons of Liberty.

WILLIAM DARLING, age 35+. Doorkeeper of the King’s Council. Has only been in the job for a few months, perhaps brought in when Governor Bernard left for England in 1769. His job was to wait on His Majesty’s Council (and had several assistants, “boys”)

ANDREW, age 20s-30s. African-American slave, owned by the merchant Oliver Wendell. Possibly born in Massachusetts (slight chance he could be from the Caribbean). Has probably lived in New England for all of his adult life.

SAMUEL ADAMS, age 48. One of the leaders of the Sons of Liberty. Intense, with a very erect posture. Not especially wealthy, but certainly a gentleman. Has a long and painful history with Thomas Hutchinson. A man with a keen understanding of the power of the press and public opinion.

JOHN HANCOCK, age 33. Fabulously wealthy and very vain. Known as something of a dandy–love to dress in fancy clothes (he favored purple in clothing, and had a canary yellow coach). At this point, he’s politically something of a moderate (unlike Adams), though he was at the head of the non-importation movement in 1765. His coffers are helping fund the opposition party in Massachusetts.

 

 

 

 

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