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GCC professors to perform on 200th Birthday Gala for General Sherman in Ohio

Posted 25 January 2020 at 5:44 pm

Press Release, GCC

Courtesy of Genesee Community College: GCC professors Derek Maxfield, left, and Tracy Ford portray Civil War generals in a play, Rudely Stamp’d. Maxfield is General Ulysses S. Grant and Ford is General William T. Sherman. They are shown at the Morgan Manning House in Brockport.

BATAVIA – From their tiny offices on the second floor of humanities suite at Genesee Community College’s Batavia Campus, Associate Professor of History Derek Maxfield and Professor of English Tracy Ford became colleagues, then friends, and eventually formed their own theatre group, Rudely Stamp’d, where they became Generals from a bygone era.

Maxfield’s passion for history and Ford’s obsession with the written and spoken word is no longer confined to their separate classrooms, or even GCC. The dynamic duo has begun performing their unique program around the country.

The Fairfield County Heritage Association in Lancaster, Ohio, will celebrate General William T. Sherman’s 200th birthday in a grand gala on Saturday, Feb. 8, from 6 to 10 p.m. at The Mill Event Center located at 431 S. Columbus Street, in Lancaster – Sherman’s hometown. The Association has invited Rudely Stamp’d, starring Maxfield, who plays the role of General Ulysses S. Grant and Ford as General William T. Sherman to be featured as part of the celebration.

“This will be our third out-of-state performance, and Tracy and I continue to be impressed with how audiences engage with the characters, and are truly absorbed by their story,” Maxfield said. “Being asked to perform in Sherman’s hometown and on his 200th birthday is a profound honor for us.”

Performed by Rudely Stamp’d nearly two dozen times in venues across the country, “Now We Stand by Each Other Always” features conversations between Grant and Sherman at critical times during the Civil War.

Act I takes place at Vicksburg, MS, as the men plan for the fall of the city to Union forces in July 1863. Act II portrays a meeting between the generals in Cincinnati, Ohio, as the men plan for the Atlanta and Overland Campaigns in 1864. Finally, Act III takes place at City Point, Virginia, as Sherman briefs his chief about his wildly successful exploits in Georgia, during the March to the Sea, and his campaign through the Carolinas. The generals also plot an end to the remaining Confederate armies. Acts II and III will be performed at Sherman’s Birthday Celebration in Lancaster on February 8, 2020.

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. Many of the performances have also engaged students in event planning, sound and light technology, public speaking and understanding the value of community collaborations, which is a key value under the College’s Mission.

While many of the local performances have been free and open to the public, tickets to the Lancaster performance are $40 each. (Available online at www.fairfieldheritage.com, or by calling the office at 740- 654-9923). The ticket cost includes hors d’oeuvres, the Rudely Stamp’d performance, a General Sherman look-alike contest, Civil War costumes and trivia contests, and much more.

For more information about the “Now We Stand by Each Other Always,” contact Maxfield at ddmaxfield@genesee.edu or click here. Rudely Stamp’d is also scheduled to perform in Brunswick, North Carolina on March 3.

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