Ben Butler

Based upon historical events, the comedy-drama Ben Butler at Burien Actors Theatre is a unique look at a key decision in the Civil War. Performances of this Northwest premiere, written by Richard Strand, run Sept. 29 through Oct. 22.

Two quick-witted men, one black and one white, and their innate stubborness radically change the course of history and the purpose of the North’s cause in the U.S. Civil War. Ben Butler is based upon historical events.

It’s the first week of the American Civil War and Major General Benjamin Butler has been placed in command of the Union outpost Fort Monroe in Virginia, which has just seceded from the United States. Three escaped slaves arrive seeking sanctuary despite the Fugitive Slave Act, which requires fugitive slaves be returned to their owners. Among the fugitives is Shepard Mallory, a man unlike any Butler has ever met. The play skillfully balances pathos with well-crafted humor as the educated and stubborn Mallory challenges the equally stubborn Butler to “see things differently.”

This unique look at a key decision in the Civil War is part comedy, part historical drama and part biography, often all at once, and sometimes none of those. A simultaneously thought-provoking and sidesplitting story of equality and the politics of race in America that drew rave reviews at theaters back East. Northwest premiere.

Get your tickets online: Ben Butler, or send an email with your request to: [email protected]

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8.


From the B-Town Blog:

From the Burien Culture Hub:

From the WestSide Seattle/Highline Times:



Stage director Rachel Rene directs the talented cast of Michael Mendonsa (Major General Benjamin Butler), Sharif Ali (Shepard Mallory), Mark Fox (Lieutenant Kelly) and Dave Tucker (Major Cary). Michelle Rodriguez is the show’s stage manager.

Designers for the show are: Albie Clementi, set; Zanna Paulson, lighting; Cyndi Baumgardner, props; Maggie Larrick, costumes; Eric Dickman, sound; Mark Fox with John Lynch, fight choreography; Scott Hille, scar prosthetics; and Gavin McLean, dialects.

Show dates and times:

Friday, September 29, 2017 8pm – Opening Night Party!
Saturday, September 30, 2017 8pm – Half Price Saturday
Sunday, October 1, 2017 2pm – $7 Sunday
Friday, October 6, 2017 8pm
Saturday, October 7, 2017 8pm
Sunday, October 8, 2017 2pm
Friday, October 13, 2017 8pm
Saturday, October 14, 2017 8pm
Sunday, October 15, 2017 2pm
Friday, October 20, 2017 8pm
Saturday, October 21, 2017 8pm
Sunday, October 22, 2017 2pm
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