4/15/2011 Revels Repertory at Roxbury Center for Arts Hibernian Hall
April 15, 2011
The Hutchinson Family Singers, New England's first family of song, are coming to Roxbury in a new program presented by Revels Repertory Company, called “There’s a Meeting Here Tonight!” This is an original musical theater production about the Hutchinson Family Singers, America’s first traveling singing ensemble. The performance is a costumed recreation of a Hutchinson Family reunion after the Civil War where family members have gathered at the homestead in Milford, New Hampshire, to celebrate their travels and experiences.
The program will feature important issues of the day through songs of emancipation, women's suffrage, the Civil War, spiritual songs and songs by popular composers such as Stephen Foster. Milton Wright, recently retired as a judge at Roxbury District Court, will play the role of Frederick Douglass.
This event is appropriate for adults, and children in grades 3-8.
The original quartet consisted of four of the thirteen children of Mary and Jesse Hutchinson, all self-trained musicians. The most influential member of the quartet was Abby who joined her brothers John, Judson and Asa on the road when she was twelve years old.
Some of the family members moved to Lynn, Massachusetts in 1841 and set up a store right down the street from Frederick Douglass, a recently freed slave who became one of the leading voices in the Abolitionist Movement and who inspired the Hutchinsons to join him in that cause. Douglass is also invited to the reunion where he recreates one of his famous anti-slavery speeches (originally given at Boston’s Tremont Temple), sings spirituals and camp meeting songs with the family and teaches singing games to the children.