Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman once chided a critic of his friend and superior Gen. Ulysses S. Grant by responding that “Grant stood by me when I was crazy, and I stood by him when he was drunk, and now, Sir, we stand by each other always.”
That iconic phrase now serves as the title of a play that will be performed this week at the Pavilion Methodist Church, corner of routes 63 & 19, in Pavilion, on Wednesday, 6/19 beginning at 6:30 PM, and on Saturday, 6/22, at the Buffalo-Niagara Heritage Village, Amherst, NY at 4:00 PM.
“Now we stand by each other always” was written and is directed by Genesee Community College professor of history Derek Maxfield, who also plays the role of General Grant alongside his GCC colleague Tracy Ford, professor of English, who is General Sherman. Collectively known as “Rudely Stamp’d,” the original one act performance debuted in September 2018, but it has been so popular with audiences of all ages that Maxfield recently expanded the script to three acts covering three years of the Civil War.
Derek Maxfield as Gen. Grant
Act I is set in June 1863 when Grant and Sherman meet during the siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi, to discuss military affairs just weeks before the surrender of the Gibraltar of the West. Act II takes place in March 1864 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Grant had recently been promoted to Lt. General and was now commander-in-chief of all Union armies. He and Sherman meet to map out the Atlanta and Overland Campaigns. Finally, Act III (previously performed) features the generals meeting at City Point, Virginia after a year apart, where Sherman recounts his exploit in Georgia and the Carolinas.
The three acts together provide a rich arch revealing not only their unique friendship, but also many intriguing and sometimes humorous insights of the famous Generals, giving audiences a full appreciation of these important men, the era they lived, and their historical significance.
The June 19th performance at the United Methodist Church is sponsored by the Genesee Valley Civil War Roundtable. While admission is free and open to the public, donations to the Roundtable are encouraged. The show begins at 6:30 p.m. and will be held outside, weather permitting. Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs. In case of inclement weather, the show will be inside the church.
Tracy Ford as Gen. Sherman
The June 22nd performance at the Buffalo-Niagara Heritage Village begins at 4 p.m. Admission is $12, with all proceeds benefitting the Heritage Village. The show will also be held outside, weather permitting and attendees are again encouraged to bring lawn chairs. Otherwise, the show will be in the ballroom inside the museum. Additional opportunities will be happening at the Buffalo-Niagara Heritage Village including the School of the Soldier program held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and chicken BBQ dinner from 3 to 4 p.m., available for $10 per person. Advanced, pre-pay reservations for the BBQ dinner are necessary and will be available when purchasing tickets for “Now We Stand by Each Other Always.” Walk-in dinner orders will not be available. Tickets may be purchased at http://bnhv.org/event/now-we-stand-by-each-other-always/ or at the museum. For further information call 716-689-1440.
The Rudely Stamp’d program illustrates the collaboration, dedication and expertise of GCC professors. Maxfield and Ford combined their talents and their craft as teaching professionals to create a program that not only benefits local communities, but often provides GCC students, specifically the History Club with unique opportunities to appreciate the importance of history and its continued significance on contemporary times. It also engages students in event planning, sound and light technology, and understanding the value of community collaborations and communication, which is a key value under the College’s Mission.
For more information about the “Now We Stand by Each Other Always,” contact Derek Maxfield at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to https://rudelystampd.wordpress.com/