New Rep’s Historical Moving Play Celebrates Black Civil War Hero from Watertown

By Celina Colby
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New Repertory Theatre will present a series of socially-distanced, outdoor historical plays this fall in collaboration with Watertown Free Public Library and the Historical Society of Watertown. Running Sept. 26–Nov. 8, these plays, presented in a walking format with safety precautions in place, will highlight historical figures from the Watertown area, beginning with Black Civil War hero Charles W. Lenox.

The Charles W. Lenox experience is the result of a talented group of Black artists: playwright Ken Green, director Michael Ofori and actor Kadahj Bennett playing the role of Lenox. Born in Watertown in 1824, Lenox was part of the famed 54th Regiment, the first all-volunteer Black regiment in the Union Army during the Civil War. His family ran a successful local barbershop in town and were considered integral and well-known members of the community.

Green, who is originally from Chicago, says it has been an interesting challenge researching the local history. “I’ve never really delved this deep into this period of time or this kind of person before, so everything is new and surprising,” he says. “There’s not a lot of narrative family history about him, so you have to try it piece some of it together.”

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