For thousands of Americans, William Sommerfield is George Washington.
Richard Brookhiser, Washington biographer
Hailed by historians and politicians as the definitive dramatic portrayer of George Washington, William
Arthur Sommerfield fascinates audiences with the insights, warmth, and humor of our first President. Sommerfield strips away the marble image of the ideal man and replaces it with a portrayal of George Washington, the intensely human being-a man of humor, anger, sorrow, failure, sacrifice, and love.
The only man ever to interpret Washington at the general's home, Mount Vernon in
Virginia, Sommerfield draws on more than 10 years of research and performance when creating his character. Every detail, from costume to powdered hair and dress sword, is historically accurate; he even captures the flourish of Washington's signature.
In 1989 the Bicentennial Commission on the Constitution selected Sommerfield to portray Washington for the eight-day journey from Mount Vernon to New York in a recreation of the inaugural ride, culminating in the swearing-in of the first President. He has continued to captivate audiences on NBC's Eyewitness to History, the DC Bicentennial Celebration, the National Bill of Rights Tour, Good Morning America, the Today Show, and A&E's The Crossing. He has appeared in Time magazine and the New Yorker, and on the covers of USA Today, the New York Times, and the Times of London.
As artistic director and chief writer of the American Historical Theatre in Philadelphia, Sommerfield re-creates history, bringing a piece of the past to life. Favorite performances include "The Glorious Burden," which explores the presidency, and "The Love Letters of George and Martha." Join George for an 18th-century news conference or a lesson in the minuet. Don't miss this trip back in time! Check local venues for details.