November 11, 2017

Portrayal of President Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United State, is coming to Great Falls.

Portrayed by Bill Barker, historic interpreter from Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia, his two appearances will be at 1:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 11 at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, 4201 Giant Springs Road, Great Falls.
Sponsored by the Portage Route Chapter in cooperation with the Lewis & Clark Foundation and the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, admission is free but a ticket is required due to limited seating. Tickets are available at Kaufmans and at the Portage Cache Store at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center.

Barker has portrayed Thomas Jefferson in a variety of venues since his first appearance at Independence Hall in Philadelphia in 1984. He first came to Williamsburg in the spring of 1993 to perform as Jefferson in a film made to honor ambassador and Mrs. Walter H. Annenberg. He continues to appear as Jefferson for Colonial Williamsburg.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Barker’s interest in Thomas Jefferson reaches back to his youth. He enjoys researching the American world Jefferson knew with an interest in the role the man played and continues to play in our American identity.

Among Jefferson’s many accomplishments besides the presidency: the nation’s second Vice President with President John Adams; Ambassador to France; founder of the University of Virginia; author of the Declaration of Independence; hired Meriwether Lewis & William Clark to find a water route to the Pacific Ocean; and is one of the four presidents featured on Mount Rushmore in South Dakota.

Barker received a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in history from Villanova University and attended the University of Pennsylvania for a brief time. Attracted to the stage at an early age, he became a professional actor, director and producer. He was cast as Jefferson in many different venues including the Broadway musical, 1776. He is the same height, weight and general appearance as President Jefferson.

Over the years he has evolved a repertoire of Jefferson presentations tailored to corporate and government audiences, as well as schools, societies and festivals. Barker has performed as Jefferson at the White House, the Palace of Versailles and throughout the United States, Great Britain, France and the Las Vegas Strip. He has been featured as Jefferson in a number of magazines including TIME, People, and Reader’s Digest.

He has appeared as Jefferson in programs aired on ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, CNN, The History Channel and C-SPAN. For more information click here.

This is Barker’s first appearance in Great Falls. Norman Anderson, past president of the Portage Route Chapter and Jay Russell, Director of the Lewis & Clark Foundation who saw him at a National Lewis & Clark Meeting in West Virginia, both said “You think you are in the presence of the real Thomas Jefferson. It is a memorable experience to see and hear him in person.

In addition to his public appearances on Nov. 11, Barker will also be giving presentations at four Great Falls Public Schools, Nov. 10.

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