The Creative Licence Theater Collective is partnering with the Albany County Historical Association to produce “Tales of Old Albany” - a new podcast that will engage audiences with true, historical tales from around Albany County, with the stories brought to audible life by a cast of some of the region’s top acting talent.
The program, researched and written by former ACHA intern and current Schuyler Mansion interpreter Jessie Serfilippi, will focus on the lives and friendship of two of Albany’s most important citizens, Brig. General Abraham Ten Broeck and Major General Philip Schuyler. The first of the four part series, titled “My Now Departed Friend,” will reveal the deep loss felt by both the Schuylers and the Ten Broecks following the death of Schuyler’s son-in-law Alexander Hamilton, as well as a look at how the Founding Father’s shocking death was felt throughout the city of Albany.
“It all started with a letter,” says Creative License co-founder and producer Aaron Holbritter., “written by Dirck Ten Broeck, son of Abraham Ten Broeck, to his father, describing in detail the circumstances surrounding Hamilton’s death.” As it happens, Dirck, who had served as a law clerk for Hamilton before starting his own practice, had a meeting scheduled with Hamilton at his office on what would be the day of the duel. Ten Broeck was en route to that meeting when he was stopped in the street and told that Hamilton had been shot. He rushed to the Bayard’s home, where Hamilton had been taken,and was there when he succumbed to his injuries the next day. “It’s this incredibly heartbreaking letter that you can just tell was written in the throes of grief,” explains Holbritter, “and the actor/director in me immediately thought, ‘This should be performed somehow!’”
After consulting with Serfilippi and discovering the close relationship between the Schuyler and Ten Broeck families through the letters they shared, the idea for the podcast began to take shape. “We try to take these letters and look at them in the broader historical context, but hearing them speak in their own words makes them feel very real.”
Serfilippi and Holbritter have also crafted dramatic scenes between characters to help create a dynamic experience for the listener. “The letters are tremendous, but we wanted to create a dramatic way to connect these people and stories and for that to work, you need some really strong actors. So we went for the big guns.” Local theater stalwarts Chris Foster and Patrick White will bring to life Abraham Ten Broeck and Philip Schuyler, respectively. They’ll be joined by Creative License mainstays Ian LaChance (Dirck Ten Broeck) and Isaac Newberry (Alexander Hamilton), as well as Krysta Dennis (Angelica Schuyler Church) and Angela Potrikus (Elizabeth Van Rensselaer Ten Broeck), among others. Holbritter and Creative License co-founder Casey Polomaine will act as the story’s narrators.
Episode one of the series will be released on September 1st on iTunes. People will be able to find links for the podcast at the ACHA’s website as well as Creative License’s. Subsequent episodes in the first series will look at the long friendship of Ten Broeck and Schuyler, their roles in the all-important Battle of Saratoga, and the lives of some of their offspring, including the couple that brought the family together officially, Philip’s son, Rensselaer Schuyler, and Abraham’s daughter, Elizabeth Ten Broeck. Those episodes are scheduled to drop every two weeks through October.