June 7, 8, 9, 10, 2018

The Last of Mrs. Lincoln
by James Prideaux
directed by Kristin Wheeler


The Last of Mrs. Lincoln follows Mrs. Lincoln through the tumultuous years following her husband’s assassination up to the time of her death. Although we can’t know for sure the thoughts and motives of these historical figures, Mr. Prideaux examines and presents them, flaws and all, which I believe makes them all the more human and endearing to us.


Director's Bio:










Kristin is excited to bring The Last of Mrs. Lincoln to Theatre in the Park for the 100th anniversary of live theatre at Lincoln’s New Salem. In 2017, she co-directed Arsenic and Old Lace with her husband, Mark Wheeler, and since she survived, she decided to come back again! You may have seen Kristin as Grizzabella in TIP’s CATS, as Linda in STC’s The Wedding Singer, or as Mama Bear/Mama Ogre in Shrek: The Musical at The Muni. Other directing credits include co-directing The Music Man Jr. at STC, and vocal directing Jane Eyre: The Musical at TIP. Kristin holds a dual master’s degree in Adult and Community Education and Executive Development for Public Service, and works for the Illinois Board of Higher Education. She is also the President of the Board of Directors for Lincoln’s New Salem Theatre in the Park.


Perusal script and rehearsal schedule.


Characters in Order of Their Appearance
(There are 13 individual characters in the play, although some may be doubled.)
Sign up for an audition time here.


Senator Austin – (50’s-70’s): Argues against giving Mary a pension and later tracks her down in Europe to argue the point further. Act 1 Scene 1, Act 1 Scene 4


Robert Lincoln – (20s to 30s): Robert is a young man struggling to help his family after the death of his father while establishing a career and life of his own.  Act 1 Scene 2, Act 1 Scene 3, Act 1 Scene 5, Act 1 Scene 8,  Act 2 Scene 1, Act 2 Scene 4, Act 2 Scene 7


Tad Lincoln – (teens to 20’s): Tad progresses from a healthy young man to a very sick one. Always cheerful, but carrying the burden of his father’s and brother’s death, Tad tries to make the best of their situation. Act 1 Scene 2, Act 1 Scene 3, Act 1 Scene 4, Act 1 Scene 5


Mary Lincoln – (40s to 60s): Mary is independent, headstrong, and a fierce protector of her remaining family and friends after the assassination of her husband. Left without a steady income, and in deteriorating health, Mary finds herself struggling to hold her family together. Mary must be at times tender, defiant, and erratic. Act 1 Scene 2, Act 1 Scene 3, Act 1 Scene 4, Act 1 Scene 5, Act 1 Scene 7, Act 1 Scene 8, Act 2 Scene 2, Act 2 Scene 3, Act 2 Scene 5, Act 2 Scene 6, Act 2 Scene 7


Ninian Edwards – (50’s-60’s): Brother-in-law to Mary Todd Lincoln, husband to Elizabeth. Tries to persuade Mary to return to her home to Springfield, and later welcomes her into his home before she dies. Act 1 Scene 2, Act 2 Scene 2, Act 2 Scene 3, Act 2 Scene 4, Act 2 Scene 7


Lizzie Keckley – (40s-60s): A former slave who became a highly successful seamstress, civil activist, and author, Lizzie was Mary Lincoln’s close friend and confidant. Act 1 Scene 2


Mary Harlan – (20s): Robert’s wife and mother of three children, Mary is a kind person, but worried about what people think of their family. She supports Robert in his actions to commit his mother to an institution after Tad’s death. Act 1 Scene 2, Act 1 Scene 3, Act 1 Scene 5, Act 2 Scene 1


Young Senator/Attendant – (30s-40s): The young senator is not expressly named, but he takes a stand for a pension for Mrs. Lincoln and gives a passionate speech on the floor of the senate in her defense. Act 1 Scene 6, Act 2 Scene 6


Black Man – (40s-60s): This kind man and his grandson rescue Mary, who is behaving erratically after Tad’s death. This pivotal scene shows the depth of Mary’s mental instability, as she appears to regress to her youth as a part of a slave-owning family. Would be great if this character could play an instrument, such as a harmonica, mouth harp, or tambourine. (Act 1 Scene 7)


Black Boy – (6-12 years): This young man helps his grandfather get Mrs. Lincoln to safety. He is shy with Mrs. Lincoln, but should be a confident dancer. (Act 1 Scene 7)


Lewis Baker – (teens to 20s): Mary’s dear great-nephew, Lewis became one of her greatest protectors after Tad’s untimely death. He and Mary enjoyed a special relationship, and many of her letters in the last years of her life were addressed to Lewis. Lewis is a curious, loving, and energetic young man. Act 2 Scene 2, Act 2 Scene 3, Act 2 Scene 6, Act 2 Scene 7


Elizabeth Edwards – (50s-60s): A member of Springfield’s high society, Elizabeth tries to bring her sister home to Springfield, and is ultimately successful. Although they did not always agree, Elizabeth was a strong supporter of her sister, and did her best to make her last years comfortable. Act 2 Scene 2, Act 2 Scene 4, Act 2 Scene 7


Mrs. McCullough – (50s-70s): A Springfield busybody who always says the wrong thing. Act 2 Scene 2