AHT Jul 2013 Pickersgill

We Entertain. We Educate. We Inspire!

The American Historical Theatre provides world-class Historical Characters and Interpretations. We provide over 100 characters and a variety of programs, and we tour all 50 states and Europe. To inquire about a character or to book an event, please call us at 215-625-0986.
Upcoming Events American Historical Theatre Presents
Mary Pickersgill: the War of 1812 and the Star Spangled Banner

Thu, Feb 23 7:00 pm-8:00 pm
Rosa Parks in Woodbridge, NJ
Woodbridge Public Library, 1 George Frederick Plaza Woodbridge Township, NJ, 07095
This one hour presentation of “Rosa Parks: First Lady of Civil Rights” is sponsored by the New Jersey Council for the Humanities. It is free and open to the public. For more information contact April Kane (732) 634-4450 x 7128

Sun, Feb 26 1:00 pm-2:00 pm
Woodrow Wilson in Piscataway NJ
Indian Queen Tavern at East Jersey Old Town Village 1050 River Road Piscataway, NJ 08854
Woodrow Wilson and the Great War! Neill Hartley is president Woodrow Wilson in this captivating and exciting one–man show set in the turbulent days leading up to World War I. This fully staged historical presentation will entertain and educate audiences all ages. Phone Number: (732) 745-3030

Sun, Feb 26 3:00 pm-4:00 pm
Woodrow Wilson in Piscataway NJ
Indian Queen Tavern at East Jersey Old Town Village 1050 River Road Piscataway, NJ 08854
Woodrow Wilson and the Great War! Neill Hartley is president Woodrow Wilson in this captivating and exciting one–man show set in the turbulent days leading up to World War I. This fully staged historical presentation will entertain and educate audiences all ages. Phone Number: (732) 745-3030

Wed, Mar 1 7:00 pm-8:00 pm
Harriet Beecher Stowe: Uncle Tom’s Cabin and the Dominion of Conscience”
Pequannock Township Public Library, 477 Newark, Pompton Tpke. Pompton Plains, NJ 07444
This one hour presentation of “Harriet Beecher Stowe: Uncle Tom’s Cabin and the Dominion of Conscience” is sponsored by the New Jersey Council for the Humanities. It is free and open to the public. For more information contact Debbie Maynard (973) 835-7460

Tue, Mar 14 7:00 pm-8:00 pm
Theodore Roosevelt: “American in the Arena.”
Trailside Nature and Science Center, 452 New Providence Road, Mountainside, NJ 07092
This one hour presentation of “Theodore Roosevelt: “American in the Arena” is sponsored by the New Jersey Council for the Humanities. It is free and open to the public. For more information contact Elisa Sananman (908) 789-3670

Fri, Apr 28 11:00 am-12:00 pm
Abigail Adams
Four Lanes End Garden Club – Langhorn, PA

Wed, May 17 7:00 pm-8:00 pm
Charles Lindbergh in Feasterville, PA
Township Library of Lower Southampton: 1983 Bridgetown Pike, Feasterville, PA
in Celebration of the 90th anniversary of Charles Lindbergh’s famous Trans-Atlantic Flight, Neill Hartley will give a presentation of: The Spirit of Lindbergh. For information contact: Carol Saioni (215) 355-1183 X104

Additional Events

AHT commemorates the 200th Anniversary of the War of 1812.
Pickersgill and star WEB (2)

Mary Pickersgill Portrayed by Kim Hanley

Mary Young never imagined she would become the muse that inspired a poem which energized a nation under duress.  Well acquainted with difficulties by her early thirties, Mary had lost both her father and her husband John Pickersgill and was left to care for one small child and her widowed mother Rebecca who fortunately had taught her trade to Mary.

Rebecca was a remarkable woman of her time. Despite the restrictions of coverture and poor education for girls, Rebecca had learned a trade and ran a flag making business in Philadelphia. During the Revolutionary War she had stitched for the Continental Army and the Pennsylvania Navy, and eventually the First United States Regiment.

Rather than suffer the degradations of the alms house or throw herself at the mercy of relatives, Mary not only provided a handsome living for her family, but also helped many others, lending her hands to create an enduring symbol of strength and patriotism that still exists today.

In the summer of 1813, while the US was again engaged in war with Britain, Mary was approached by Major George Armistead to make two flags, the largest measuring 30 feet hoist and 42 feet fly. She completed them in six weeks.

By August of that year, the White House, the most powerful symbol of our Nation’s endurance, was in ashes. Following two full days of bombardment, it was Mary’s enormous flag with its 400 plus yards of cloth that, being seen as it flew over Ft McHenry, gave hope to Francis Scott Key, and inspired the poem “The Defense of Fort Henry” which is now known as our National Anthem: “The Star Spangled Banner.”

Stitching flags may have brought her to the public eye, but Mary devoted her life to giving hope to others.  Having experienced hardship, Mary became president of the Impartial Humane Society where she provided aid to Men, Women Children and Families through various measures, including the establishment of homes for the elderly.

Photographer: Karla Korn (unless otherwise noted);  Website Designer/Administrator: Janette Paull