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Abe Lincoln in Illinois (play)

Abe Lincoln in Illinois is a play written by the American playwright Robert E. Sherwood in 1938. The play, in three acts, covers the life of President Abraham Lincoln from his childhood through his final speech in Illinois before he left for Washington. The play also covers his romance with Mary Todd and his debates with Stephen A. Douglas, and uses Lincoln's own words in some scenes. Sherwood received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1939 for his work. Raymond Massey portrayed Lincoln; he repeated his role in the 1940 film version.


The play premiered on Broadway on October 15, 1938 at the Plymouth Theatre and closed in December 1939 after 472 performances. Directed by Elmer Rice, it starred Raymond Massey as Lincoln. The play was revived on Broadway with Sam Waterston as Lincoln, with direction by Gerald Gutierrez. The revival ran from November 29, 1993 to January 2, 1994 at the Vivian Beaumont Theater in Lincoln Center.[1]


In addition to the 1940 film, there were five television adaptations - in 1945, 1950, 1951, 1957, and 1964. Massey repeated his stage role in the 1950 and 1951 adaptations. The 1964 production in the Hallmark Hall of Fame featured Jason Robards in the title role.

Awards and nominations

  • 1939 Pulitzer Prize for Drama
  • 1994 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Play Revival
  • 1994 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play


  1. [1] Internet Broadway Database, accessed September 5, 2011

External links

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