Pictures & Reviews

"I never saw myself as president. I just happened to be in the right place at the wrong time."
Harry S. Truman, 33rd President

GIVE 'EM HELL HARRY is a collection of the thoughts and reminiscences of our 33rd president, Harry S. Truman. From his small town, turn-of-the century boyhood to his years as President of the United States, GIVE 'EM HELL HARRY presents an intimate look at the man who once said, "I never did give anybody hell. I just told the truth and it made them feel like they were in hell.”

In this one-man play by Samuel Gallu, Truman shares his thoughts on famous people, fellow presidents, and other important issues of the day. He also discusses his humble beginnings in Missouri politics (“I think I got elected because I had more relatives in the county than anybody else”), his marriage to Bess (“Her mother had some misgivings about it, but we went ahead and did it”), and his rise to the presidency (“Am I going to run again? Hell, I haven’t run yet!”).

You will witness Truman's decision to drop the first atomic bomb, his handling of the Korean War, the controversial firing of General Douglas McCarthur, his famous "whistle stop campaign" and defeat of Thomas E Dewey in 1948, and his deep and enduring love for his wife Bess and daughter Margaret.

GIVE 'EM HELL HARRY is one of America's great stories, filled with historic characters...Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin, George Marshall, Joe McCarthy, Dean Acheson, Dwight Eisenhower and others.

Churchill once toasted Harry Truman with these words: "I must confess, sir, I held you in very low regard. I loathed your taking the place of Franklin Roosevelt. I misjudged you badly. Since that time, you more than any other man, have saved Western Civilzation."

Cincinnati actor Bill Hartnett brings Truman to vivid life on stage. A veteran of many stage productions, Hartnett has played many of the classic stage roles of our time. The show is directed by Eleanor B. Shepherd.

GIVE 'EM HELL HARRY was presented by Gordon Productions at Lincoln's New Salem Visitor Center Theater on Friday, August 30 at 8 p.m., Saturday, August 31at 8 p.m., and Sunday, September 1 at 6 p.m.

MEET THE CAST

Bill Hartnett (Harry S. Truman) Bill has appeared in theaters in New York, Pittsburgh, Kentucky and Ohio. He has worked with many Cincinnati area theater groups including Playhouse in the Park, Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati, Downtown Theater Classics, Showboat Majestic, the Carnegie Arts Center and Children's Theater of Cincinnati.

During his career, Bill has played some of the theatre's most challenging roles, including Willy Loman in DEATH OF A SALESMAN, Norman in ON GOLDEN POND, Joe in ALL MY SONS, Estragon in WAITING FOR GODOT and Drummond in INHERIT THE WIND.

Other favorite roles include Clarence in IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, Army in REQUIEM FOR A HEAVYWEIGHT, Shannon in NIGHT OF THE IGUANA, Joe in THE SHADOW BOX, Candy in OF MICE AND MEN, Willie in THE SUNSHINE BOYS, Burkie in BURKIE and Chorus in ANTIGONE.

Bill is equally at ease on the musical stage, and has played leading roles in THE MUSIC MAN, GUYS & DOLLS, DAMN YANKEES, GYPSY, THE KING AND I, THE FANTASTICKS and WORKING.

Not one to shy away from a challenge, Bill has also tackled many one man shows, including GIVE 'EM HELL HARRY, AN EVENING WITH MARK TWAIN and KRAPP'S LAST TAPE

Bill and his wife, Ellie Shepherd have directed themselves in two highly successful productions of THE GIN GAME. Their directing credits include MAN OF LA MANCHA, OUR TOWN, MY FRIEND THE FOX, THE PLEASURE OF HIS COMPANY, CHICKEN EVERY SUNDAY, A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM, GIRLS OF THE GARDEN CLUB and variety shows for many corporations.

MEET THE DIRECTOR

Eleanor Shepherd is the past president of the Mariemont Players (Cincinnati, Ohio) and is a member of several other theater groups in the greater Cincinnati area.

Ellie and her husband, Bill Hartnett, have directed several shows together, including MAN OF LA MANCHA, MY FRIEND THE FOX, THE PLEASURE OF HIS COMPANY, CHICKEN EVERY SUNDAY, THE GIN GAME, A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM and GIRLS OF THE GARDEN CLUB.

She has starred in productions of FOXFIRE, ON GOLDEN POND, MORNINGS AT SEVEN, RAIN, ARSENIC AND OLD LACE, NIGHT OF THE IGUANA, THE SHADOW BOX, ELEEMOSYNARY, STEPPIN' OUT, TWIGS and WAITING FOR GODOT.

Ellie also designs, paints and decorates sets for various theater groups.

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