The Rivalry: A Dramatization of the Lincoln-Douglas Debates


The Social Law Library and Suffolk University Law School's Macaronis Institute present The Rivalry, playwright Norman Corwin's dramatization of the Lincoln-Douglas debates, on Friday, Feb. 13, 2009, at the John Adams Courthouse.

The Rivalry recreates the landmark 1858 debates between Stephen A. Douglas and Abraham Lincoln, who were campaigning to represent Illinois in the U.S. Senate.

The nation was riveted as the two great orators argued the slavery question, and the play is based on the debate transcripts. Lincoln lost the election to the incumbent, but the stage was set for him to accede to the presidency.

Corwin wrote the play in 1958, a full century after the debates and a time when the civil rights movement was gaining momentum. It is presented at a historic moment. The nation is celebrating the bicentennial of Lincoln's birth, and for the first time an African-American president is in the White House.

Vincent Dowling directs the production, with Christian Kauffmann as Lincoln, Peter Cormican as Douglas, and Mary Linda Rapelye as his wife, Adele.

Introductory remarks will be offered by the Hon. John M. Greaney, director of the Macaronis Institute for Trial and Appellate Advocacy, and Robert J. Brink, executive director of the Social Law Library.

The Rivalry
5-7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 13, 2009
Social Law Library
John Adams Courthouse, Fourth Floor
One Pemberton Square, Boston



Back to News »