Oklahoma History Center and Colonial Williamsburg Present “History Alive!: An Evening With James Armistead Lafayette”

Oklahoma Historical Society - January 23, 2023 10:57 am

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma History Center (OHC) and Colonial Williamsburg are proud to present Stephen Seals in “History Alive!: An Evening With James Armistead Lafayette.” Seals portrays an enslaved Virginian born on a plantation in 1748 and played a key role in the defeat of the British in the Revolutionary War.

The event will take place in the Chesapeake Events Center and Gallery on Friday, January 27th, at 7 p.m. Tickets for the performance are $10 for Oklahoma Historical Society members and $20 for non-members. You may purchase them online or by calling 405-522-0765. Doors will open at 6 p.m., and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. The OHC is located at 800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr. in Oklahoma City.

During the American Revolutionary War, James Armistead likely spent time in Williamsburg, where his owner, William Armistead, helped manage military supplies. In 1781, James was pressed into service under the Marquis de Lafayette, who had James infiltrate the British army as a servant for General Charles Cornwallis. James provided valuable intelligence that helped pave the way for the siege of Yorktown, effectively ending the war. In 1787, the Virginia Assembly granted James his freedom for his courageous contribution while his owner, William Armistead, was compensated £250. James added Lafayette to his name to honor French General Lafayette, with whom he served.

Stephen Seals began his professional career as a freelance actor traveling the country performing and directing theatre for 14 years before being hired by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. He attended Virginia Commonwealth University as a Theatre Education major. Stephen spent ten years teaching theatre in the Richmond community and working as an actor, director, stage manager, production manager, and lighting designer. He started working at Colonial Williamsburg Foundation 12 years ago as an Actor Interpreter. He was also a unit supervisor for three years before becoming the manager of program development for African American and religion interpretation. In addition to his position as manager of curated programs, Stephen currently portrays nation builder James Lafayette.

The Oklahoma History Center is a division of the Oklahoma Historical Society and is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, National Archives and is an accredited member of the American Alliance of Museums. The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve, and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma and its people. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains museums, historic sites, and affiliates across the state. Through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs, and publications the OHS chronicles the rich history of Oklahoma. For more information about the OHS, please visit www.okhistory.org.


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