Continue the Celebration! Attend a Free Premiere Dramatic Reading! Subject: The Lincoln Memorial

By Wendy Swanson

Washington, D.C.

May 21, 2022


(Photo credit: Bruce Guthrie)


On Monday, May 23, attend the premiere reading of excerpts from Freedom’s Temple: The Lincoln Memorial, a dramatic presentation about the design, construction and evolving meaning of the Lincoln Memorial. The event, which will be held virtually, is co-sponsored by the Lincoln Group of DC and the Civil War Round Table of DC as part of our celebration of the centennial of the Lincoln Memorial.


The original script, by Bryce O. Stenzel, provides behind the scenes insights into the Memorial’s story, information often unknown to most or overlooked. Key characters include the designers and builders, as well as Marian Anderson and the agent who advocated on her behalf. You will also hear the words of Dr. Robert Moton, the sole African American speaker at the May 1922 dedication, whose remarks were censured as “too radical” for the Jim Crow era organizers.


The event will provide attendees the opportunity to learn more of the Lincoln Memorial story as well as about the craft of playwriting. Following the reading, audience members will have the opportunity to provide input on the work. There will be a Q&A session for questions, suggestions, and the chance to effectively crowd-source the further development of this play.


The reading is being directed by award-winning actor and director KenYatta Rogers, who leads a stellar cast of actors reading the original Bryce O. Stenzel script with editorial assistance from Kurt DeSoto, CWRTDC president, and Debbie Jackson, Lincoln Group of DC vice president of special programs. Debbie is also producing this event.


So zoom in (using the link shown below) to join us as we blend history and the arts to tell the story of the Lincoln Memorial.


Zoom Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/73777333091?pwd=V05ZQm9iSDlLSHcvSk4zYTJuMGpidz09


Or point your browser to the following link and use the Meeting ID and passcode shown below:

Zoom "Join A Meeting" Page: https://zoom.us/join

Meeting ID: 737 7733 3091

Passcode: Zoom1861


Mark your calendar! The virtual public reading is Monday, May 23, 2022 @ 4:00 – 5:30 pm ET.

The event is FREE and all are welcome to attend.


KenYatta Rogers, Director, received a BA in English from Clark Atlanta University and an MFA in Acting from the University of Pittsburgh. He joined the faculty of Montgomery College where he currently serves as coordinator for the Theatre discipline. He was named 2014 Maryland Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. Rogers has been a guest artist/presenter at Yale University, Syracuse University, George Washington University, Indiana State University, Clemson University, Frederick Community College, Lehigh University, Howard University, Georgetown University, University of Maryland, and Catholic University. Rogers has been an adjudicator for the Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival, the Folger Theatre’s High School Shakespeare Festival, and the NAACP’s ACT-SO (Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological, and Scientific Olympics) program as well as a teaching-artist for the Helen Hayes Awards Theatre Legacy Program. As a member of AEA (Actors’ Equity Association), he has directed or performed in over 50 professional theatre productions and has over 50 film, television, and radio credits.


Bryce O. Stenzel, Playwright, a native of Mankato, Minnesota, graduated with honors from Mankato State University, earning both Bachelor's and Master's degrees in History. Stenzel has taught in public and private schools, as well as at the collegiate level. In 1989, he developed his first-person portrayal of Abraham Lincoln, presenting to audiences throughout the United States. Author of eight books on local historical and Lincoln-related topics, he co-authored a book with Julie Schrader on the history and re-creation of Mankato's Boy in Blue Civil War Memorial. He serves as Chair of the Boy in Blue Civil War Veterans’ Memorial Committee, Mankato Area Community Band President, and Secretary of the New Ulm Battery. Stenzel's books can be ordered directly via email: bryceostenzel@gmail.com