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Play looks inside Abraham Lincoln’s mind ahead of famous speech

| February 22, 2024 12:00 AM

A theatrical foray into President Abraham Lincoln's state of mind on the eve of delivering the Gettysburg Address will be featured at the Northwest Montana History Museum on Sunday, Feb. 25. 

Minnesota playwright-actor Chuck Johnson presents “The Night Before Gettysburg” a one-man, three-scene, one-act play in which Lincoln finishes writing the Gettysburg Address. The free presentation revisits a key time in American history through the eyes of a respected longtime statesman.

Johnson is the author of the play and wrote it to compete in a one-act play contest in Wadena, Minnesota, in 2021. After writing the play in 2021, Johnson has performed it to acclaim in many venues and on-site in Gettysburg, including at the recent occasion there commemorating the 160th anniversary of the address.

In the first scene, Lincoln talks directly to the audience explaining the events that led up to the Battle of Gettysburg. The second scene takes the audience to his bedroom in 1863 as he finishes the speech. The final scene is a presentation of the Gettysburg Address.
The performance is followed by a question and answer session that takes a look at the historical events brought forth in the play. 

Read more on Chuck Johnson at