CHURCH HILL — "The Worst Choice," a searing and timely new play by John Carl Haas, will premiere via livestream this February at Church Hill Theatre.
The livestream begins at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 12 and Saturday, Feb. 13, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 14. Tickets for the Zoom connection are $20 (with discounts for students and members) and may be purchased through the CHT website: churchhilltheatre.org
Haas, a history professor at Chesapeake College, poses a disturbing moral question in his forthcoming play: what if General William Tecumseh Sherman had been challenged, even faced court martial, for his hard tactics during the final year of the American Civil War.
By the end of the play, a news release states, Haas also challenges the audience to consider what we might have done in similar circumstances?
According to the release, "The Worst Choice" is a testy conversation between General Sherman and retired General Ethan Allen Hitchcock, an officer widely respected for his ethical values. Preparing for a hostile Congressional inquiry, Sherman hopes Hitchcock will help defend decisions that hastened the end of the war.
Far from supporting Sherman, Hitchcock believes there was no ethical justification for the resulting loss of civilian lives and property. While the drama unfolds in a drab Washington City hotel room in 1865, the audience is invited to imagine the destruction of Atlanta, Sherman’s army “foraging” its way to the sea, the burning of South Carolina’s capitol, and the behavior of both war-weary troops and Southern civilians.
Although the discussion between Sherman and Hitchcock is fictional, the characters and historical events are real.
Robert Thompson, theater department professor at Chesapeake College, plays General Sherman and CHT veteran actor Will Robinson portrays General Hitchcock, the release states. Shelagh Grasso is the producer and director. Michelle Christopher is the stage manager.