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Aug. 28, 2014

Hundreds Turn Out for One-Time-Only Show

OSWEGO - Nearly 500 people gathered on the parade grounds of the Fort Ontario State Historic Site in Oswego to enjoy a performance of "The Great Rope," the award-winning children's play by the late Rosemary Nesbitt. The cast entertained and interacted with the audience in a reverse 'theatre-in-the-round' setting within this natural outdoor amphitheater.

"This was a truly unique experience for the audience as well as everyone involved with the show," said H. Lee White Marine Museum Director Mercedes Niess, one of the show's organizers. "It was a great way to honor Rosemary for her contributions to this community."

Adapted and directed by Jonel Langenfeld, professor of theater at SUNY Oswego, the play tells the story of local events that took place during the War of 1812, from the Battle of Oswego to the Great Cable Carry, that demonstrate the importance of the North Country in this chapter of American history.

"British and American forces were vying for control of Lake Ontario because of its strategic location, making it a major theatre of action in the War of 1812," said Fort Ontario State Historic Site Manager Paul Lear, chairman of the Oswego County War of 1812 Bicentennial Committee. "Through a series of events that took place here in the spring and summer of 1814, the men of the 55th New York State Militia Regiment and the brave inhabitants of the area were able to persevere and keep the British at bay."

The production of "The Great Rope" was made possible through grants from the Richard S. Shineman Foundation and CNY Arts of Syracuse together with sponsorships from NBT Bank, Wayne Drugs, Oswego Lions, Stewarts Shops, and Elks Lodge #271. Additional support was provided by Oswego Printing, Ancient Order of Hibernians and Friends of Fort Ontario. The collaboration of Fort Ontario State Historic Site, H. Lee White Marine Museum, CNY Arts Center of Fulton, SUNY Oswego Theatre Department and the hard work and dedication of the show's many volunteers made the event a resounding success.

The play was part of the bicentennial commemoration of the War of 1812 in Oswego County. For more events and activities, call the Oswego County Tourism Office at 315/349-8322 or visit online at www.visitoswegocounty.com.

"THE GREAT ROPE" IS A GREAT SUCCESS - Townspeople and children gather around Jonathan (played by Griffin Marriner) as he tells of his grand adventure with "The Great Rope." The award-winning play was written by the late Rosemary Nesbitt and commemorates the bicentennial of the Great Cable Carry, which followed the Battle of Oswego at Fort Ontario and the Battle of Big Sandy. For more great events, call (315) 349-8323 or visit visitoswegocounty.com (Photo by Kelly Jordal, Oswego County Tourism)

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