West Virginia Independence Hall will commemorate the 150th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln's West Virginia statehood proclamation with two special presentations on April 20.
Beginning at 1 p.m., the Allegro Dance Company of Wheeling will perform "President Lincoln – Life and Legacy through Dance." This performance includes three interpretive dance pieces set to music that consist of Mary Todd Lincoln's reflections, emancipation and the American people.
At 2 p.m., actor Fritz Klein of Springfield, Ill., will portray Abraham Lincoln as he discusses the Civil War and the 16th president's deliberations that preceded his decision to sanction the birth of West Virginia, the nation's 35th state. As part of his presentation, "A New Star in the Union: Abraham Lincoln and West Virginia Statehood," Klein will ceremonially issue the West Virginia statehood proclamation, which Lincoln did exactly 150 years ago on April 20, 1863. Later in the program, Klein will break character and discuss his experiences in researching and portraying Lincoln.
Both programs are free and open to the public. A reception will follow Klein's program.
Klein is a performer at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield, Ill., and has performed as Lincoln in 38 states and abroad, as well as on the History Channel, the Discovery Channel, National Geographic Television and C-Span.
Anna Pishner Harsh, an Italian-American, formed the Allegro Dance Company in 1994 as a way to celebrate her heritage and love of dance. Her touring company has performed at festivals, concerts, schools, parades and cultural celebrations throughout the United States and Italy.
For information, contact Travis Henline, site manager, at 304-238-1300.