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The Will, written by Sandra Seaton portrays the life of an African American family in a small town in Tennessee after the Civil War. The play offers both a dramatization of the experience of African Americans during Reconstruction and an interpretation of African American culture that brings out the place of classical music in African American history and life. The story of families like the Websters of The Will remains almost entirely untold. The father of the family, Cyrus Webster, is determined to pass on not only his worldly possessions but also his courage and wisdom to his descendants.
The character of Patti was inspired by the life of Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield, a renowned African American opera singer of the Civil War and Reconstruction era.
Photo Credits: The Will, Act I, Scene 3, Regina Riddle as Eliza Webster, Keith Williams as Cyrus Webster, Plachta Auditorium, Central Michigan University, February 2013.