Gerry Wright has researched, written and produced a one-man show honoring the life and work of Frederick Law Olmsted, the father of landscape architecture. The play provides insights into Olmsted’s passionate vision as he played critical roles in the dynamics of slavery as a writer, Executive Secretary of the U.S. Sanitary Commission in the Civil War, and as the landscape architect for New York City’s Central Park, Boston’s Emerald Necklace, the US Capitol grounds, along with multiple plans for colleges, communities and private estates. Olmsted was a key pioneer in the movement to preserve land as national parkland, both at Yosemite and Niagara Falls.
Olmsted’s life story, from “vagabond,” to dry goods salesman, sailor, traveler, journalist, author, publisher, executive (including a goldmine in California), to becoming the father of landscape architecture in America is both inspiring as history and reason for continued commitment in the 21st century.
The Olmsted play has been presented at the Olmsted National Historic Site in Brookline, Bostonâ€™s 375th Anniversary Parade, Brooklineâ€™s 350th Anniversary Celebration, plus numerous communities of the Commonwealth; along with performances in Volgoda, Russia; in New York City for the 150 year anniversary of the legislation for Central Park; Olmsted Parks Conservancy in Louisville, Kentucky; and in Asheville, North Carolina. It will be presented, free, along with a second one act play, on Sunday, April 22, beginning at 7 pm at First Church of Jamaica Plain, Eliot and Center Street, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. Call 617-524-7070, or email FrederickLawOlmsted@yahoo.com.