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New Tavern Performers Debut at Colonial Williamsburg
Submitted by Joe Straw

TavernP imageWILLIAMSBURG, Va. (July 27, 2017) – Colonial Williamsburg introduced its new troupe of full-time tavern performers in an impromptu performance Thursday on Duke of Gloucester Street outside Chowning’s Tavern.

Composed of actors, vocalists, composers and musicians of instruments including fiddle, guitar, sackbut, mandolin, tambourine, banjar and guitar, the troupe interprets tavern life daily portraying the Waterman family, musicians with roots in the Cumberland Gap region of Appalachia.

"Our full-time troupe of tavern interpreters embodies our core mission of bringing the 18th century to life in new and engaging ways,” said Mitchell B. Reiss, Colonial Williamsburg president and CEO. "The troupe’s depth and range of talent will help us share an important facet of period life in a more authentic way and share our nation’s enduring stories.”

The troupe began regular performances Aug. 1 and will appear at each of Colonial Williamsburg’s four Historic Area taverns: Chowning’s, Shields, King’s Arms and Christiana Campbell’s. The group will perform for 30 minutes at each tavern Tuesday-Saturday from 11:45-2 p.m. during lunch and 5-7:30 p.m. during dinner.

"We’re thrilled to invite guests to enjoy the many talents of our new troupe of tavern interpreters,” said Ted Maris- Wolf, Colonial Williamsburg vice president of education, research and historical interpretation. "Among them are world-class vocalists and multi-instrumentalists who will perform common music of the 18th century – a departure from the more refined music performed at the Governor’s Palace and enriching entertainment for all our tavern guests.”

Rather than appearing throughout the tavern individually or in pairs, the group will perform in "concert style” as a group in tavern lobbies.

"Our new performance techniques are based on research of 18thcentury folk music,” said Wayne Hill, lead for the troupe who has been playing guitar for Colonial Williamsburg for 25 years. "This new approach will allow our performances to be heard throughout the tavern and will invite guests to join in the fun while minimizing intrusion to diners and servers.”

The group is in the process of hiring a sixth performer to join the troupe.

Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area taverns are open for lunch and dinner. Reservations are required for dinner at King’s Arms, Shields and Christiana Campbell’s and are available by calling 855-296- 6627, online at or via OpenTable. Additional information is available by following Colonial Williamsburg on Facebook and @colonialwmsburg on Twitter and Instagram.


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