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Avant Bard Theatre to Debut World Premiere of “Billy and George”

By: Avant Bard Theatre

January 3, 2023

Avant Bard Theatre to Debut World Premiere of “Billy and George”


December 29, 2022

Avant Bard Theatre announces the world premiere of “Billy and George” from playwrights Ken Jones and Daryl L. Harris and directed by Avant Bard Producing Partner DeMone Seraphin. Performances take place between Thursday, January 19 and Saturday, February 11, 2023. A press performance is scheduled for Sunday, January 22, 2023, at 2 p.m. EST.

ARLINGTON, Va., Dec. 29, 2022: Arlington’s Avant Bard Theatre will launch its 2023 Season with a world premiere, Billy and George, written by Ken Jones and Daryl L. Harris, critically acclaimed American playwrights. Directed by Avant Bard Producing Partner DeMone Seraphin, previews for Billy and George begin Thursday, January 19, 2023, with a performance at 7:30 p.m. at Gunston Theatre Two, located at 2700 S. Lang Street, Arlington, VA 22206. Tickets may be purchased on Avant Bard’s website at All tickets for previews and Saturday matinees are Pay What You Can, meaning patrons may self-select their ticket price, with no set minimum.

Billy and George takes place on December 25, 1776, just hours before General George Washington and the Continental Army cross the Delaware River to defeat the Hessian soldiers at Trenton, New Jersey. Washington and his closest companion, the enslaved person William “Billy” Lee, prepare for the crossing while discussing, arguing, and challenging the concepts of freedom, war, and love.

“I couldn’t have dreamed of a better group to produce the premiere of Billy and George, than that of DeMone Seraphin, director, and the Avant Bard Theatre team,” Jones shared. “In writing the play, Daryl and I wanted to give Billy Lee a voice, a sound, a body, and to make sure that the soul of the man, joined with George’s, are still fighting for freedom, for love and for life.”

Theatergoers will be given a nuanced portrait of the nation’s first president and his unexpected confidante who influenced Washington’s perspective on peace, freedom, and independence.

“Sankofa is an African word and symbol from the Akan tribe in Ghana. Its literal translation is ‘it is not taboo to fetch what is at risk of being left behind,’ and is derived from the words: San (Return); Ko (Go); and Fa (Look, Seek, and Take). The symbol Sankofa embodies the Akan people’s quest for knowledge based on critical examination, and intelligent and patient investigation,” Seraphin said. “Ken and Daryl’s remarkable play provides us with a thought-provoking look at a key moment in our country’s history via the relationship between our first president, George Washington, and his slave, William “Billy” Lee. My sincere hope is that this journey back will propel us forward into our greater selves, so that yesterday’s missteps don’t remain tomorrow’s pitfalls.”

Previews for Billy and George begin January 19, 2023 and the play will run through February 11, 2023 at Theatre Two of the Gunston Arts Center. Opening and Press performances are Sunday, January 22, 2023, at 2 p.m. (Invitation Only). For tickets and details please visit Avant Bard’s website at

Avant Bard is committed to making theater accessible and affordable. Gunston Arts Center is wheelchair accessible. Additionally, the following performances will feature ASL interpretation:

Sunday, January 22, 2023, 2 p.m.
Sunday, January 29, 2023, 2 p.m.
Thursday, February 2, 2023, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, February 4, 2023, 7:30 p.m.

Avant Bard provides students and veterans and servicemembers (and their families) 50 percent ticket discounts. All previews and Saturday matinees at 2 p.m. are considered Pay What You Can, which means patrons can name their ticket price, with no set minimum and no limit on the number of tickets purchased.

Avant Bard Theatre is an Arlington-based performing arts organization dedicated primarily to producing classic works–both time-tested and contemporary classics; emphasizing a provocative, bold approach in an intimate setting; and training and showcasing the best emerging talent in the region, mentored by seasoned, professional theater artists. Avant Bard’s mission is expressed through its commitment to artistic excellence, collaboration, talent development, and promoting educational and social outreach. Learn more here:

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