Journey of Destiny
Written and Directed by Victoria Racimo
Commissioned for "America's 400th Anniversary"
May 13, 2007 - Jamestown Anniversary Park in Williamsburg, VA
JOURNEY OF DESTINY is not intended to be a "period piece" but rather a living, breathing dramatic entertainment based on historical fact, accompanied by music. While much of the story of the Jamestowne settlement cannot be incorporated in this staged presentation, the primary goal has been to capture the essence, importance and dignity of all three cultures involved in that momentous undertaking begun in 1607. In this production, a voice has been given to each of these cultures; the indigenous peoples, the English and the Africans.
Structurally, it is framed with Old John Smith back in England writing his journals and histories.
The performers representing the English, the indigenous peoples and the Africans will carry the story forward not only through dialogue but through stylized dance movement. All this has been done with great regard for the Jamestowne story and respect for what all of our ancestors endured... Victoria Racimo
Photos by Mike Suerdieck
Angolans - Jason Blackwell, Le Royce Bratsveen, Francesca Gailes, LaToya Johns, Ciara Montgomery, Orimolade Ogunjimi, Coley Mustafa Speaks and Anthony Ware
English - David Adams, Christopher Clawson, Joe Dellinger, Terry Menehe Gau, Patrick Golden, Steve Holloway, Brandon Lyles, Bill McKinnon, Robert Shrader, Al Shumann, Ed Whitacre, and Charles White
Natives - Chris Beavers, Phoenix Bess, Danielle B radby, Christian Castonguay, Mark Castonguay, Maria Figueroa, Jerry Fortune, Chris French, David Perry, Tom Tupponce, Aaron Winston, and Carmen Wynn
Dancers- Rachel Berryman, Evan Cook, Denise Damon Wade, Caitlin Garwood, Joan Gavaler, Leah Glenn, Anna Hunter, MaShawn Jones, Christina Langlois, Rebecca Ruel, Casey Shaw, and Kristina Turner
Assistant Director – TanNa Young
Costume Designer – Janea Whitacre
Lighting Designer – Steve Holliday
Set Designer – Mike Suerdieck
Choreographers – Denise Damon Wade,
Joan Gavaler and Leah Glenn
Stage Manager – Amy Kopp Lyles
Prop Mistress – Rebecca Suerdieck
Costume Assistant – Donna Gettings-Apperson
Production Assistant – Lucile Kossodo
Production Assistant – Paul Schutte
The Virginia Gazette
Excerpt from "Thousands celebrate 400th" by Steve Vaughan - Published May 16, 2007
Anniversary Weekend’s visitors not only came, they stayed. More than 10,000 remained in Anniversary Park for the finale, which included another concert from the choir and orchestra, a well-received Jamestown drama JOURNEY OF DESTINY, and a ceremony featuring Gov. Tim Kaine and his family in which the 2007 time capsule for the 450th was sealed.
Rex Ellis, Colonial Williamsburg’s normally reserved vice president for the Historic Area, served as master of ceremonies for the event. He seemed to be channeling Tavis Smiley, as he exhorted the crowd to “show some love” for musicians and performers.
“I enjoyed it,” he said later. “I enjoyed the depth of thought and the different perspectives.”
Ellis said he thought JOURNEY OF DESTINY was “an innovative and creative” approach to the Jamestown story and brought writer/director Victoria Racimo onstage to take a bow.
Visitors stayed to cheer wildly for a huge fireworks demonstration, “The Lights of Democracy,” that lit Anniversary Park to close the 400th celebration.
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Excerpt from "An Inspiring Finale to 400th" by John Shulson - Published May 16, 2007
It was all in the numbers: 400 musicians and the 400th Anniversary; 1607 singers and the year of the settlement; and the combined number of musicians and singers coming in at 2007.
Festival Stage was the place to be Sunday evening, the place where perspective and performance came together in a totally pleasing and patriotically inspired finale.
The evening’s fare was divided into three parts: orchestral and choral, dramatic, and both literally and figuratively, musical fireworks. For the opening portion the musicians and singers presented a varied of songs.
Next was a dramatic presentation of JOURNEY OF DESTINY, an original dramatic work written and directed by Victoria Racimo. The story covered four centuries of growth in the New World and, like the Jamestown Settlement theme, depicted the often clashing merger of cultures between the Europeans, Powhatan Indians, and Africans.
JOURNEY was carried out through narrative, dance, African and Indian drumbeats, scored music, effectively utilized stylized scenery, and the fine work of folk from the College of William & Mary’s theater and dance departments. The performance was projected over three giant screens, as were all Festival Stage events.
Being in such a setting, with countless thousands of folk from across the land sharing the experience, was inspiring.