For someone who wasn’t around during the Civil War, playwright John Woodruff must know it pretty well. Of course, it helps to have family members who fought in that conflict. That’s part of the inspiration for Drummer Girl: A Civil War Journey, the play he wrote.
In Drummer Girl, the main character, Lorena, starts out the story as a young farm girl from southern Illinois interested in her own tomboyish pursuits. She is married to a wealthy widower while in her early teens and bears him two daughters, but eventually runs away from home due to his cruelty, joins the conflict and is trained as a drummer. Along the way she experiences the horrors of war, lost love and numerous formative experiences before returning home to try running the family farm and facing new beginnings.
Drummer Girl reflects the kind of story lines that took place both among those actively involved in the war, and those who weren’t fighting but knew people who did so. In those respects, it’s an example of how the war touched everybody.
Tickets cost $10 at the door, or may be reserved by calling 491-3977. They are also available at Our Town Books in Jacksonville, 245-2665. More information is also available at the show’s website,

– By Will Burpee, a freelance writer and actor from Springfield.

Drummer Girl: A Civil War Journey
June 1-3, 7:30pm Fri-Sat, 2pm Sun
Playhouse on the Square
68 E. Central Park

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