America is Changing
Ammi Phillips, Our Greatest Portraitist, Must Change With Her
Thrown Stone’s sixth season features the world premiere of our commission of Seven Cousins for a Horse by Tammy Ryan. It is the story of Ammi Phillips, the most prolific folk artist in American History. Born in Colebrook, CT in 1788, he traveled throughout the Northeastern United States, painting portraits of everyday people, including farmers, businessmen, and their families. His works often featured bold and simple shapes, bright colors, and expressive faces, and they are recognized for their unique blend of realism and folk art stylization.
The play opens on Phillips’s return to his hometown in the wake of a personal tragedy. It is 1848, a time of great change. The Seneca Falls Convention is about to call for women’s suffrage, chattel slavery has finally ended in Connecticut, and there is already talk of a war between the states. But Ammi has work to do. He must capture the likenesses of his cousins, the Kinney family. All they can offer in payment is a strong horse, but that may be just the thing he needs to reset his itinerant career — and find his way back home.
At Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance this July. Tickets on sale May 8.