History Comes Alive.
Since 1976, St. John’s Church Foundation has presented historical reenactments of the Second Virginia Convention of March 1775 at its original location. Professional actors in 1770s' attire portray nine delegates, including Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington, who engage in the debates and arguments of the Second Virginia Convention, which culminate with Patrick Henry’s immortal “Give me liberty or give me death!” speech.
FREE Liberty or death REENACTMENTS
We offer a free Liberty or Death reenactment every Sunday in the summer, as well as on other special dates throughout the year. Due to increasing volume of interest, we now allow reservations for a $5 per person (plus service fee) cost. We still hold up to 100 walk-up seats for those who want to queue at the front doors and come to the show for free on a first-come first-served basis.
- Please see the calendar below for upcoming Liberty or Death reenactments or other events.
- Click the desired Event for more information as well as Reserved Ticket links.
The church seemed closed for repair when we came to the door and we were rushed in to a Live reenactment of Patrick Henry's Famous speech in the place he did it more than two hundred years before. It was the best. A hundred fourth graders in a historical trance. From the balcony we watched the play with amazement and paid at the gift shop after. What a gift as they rarely do the play in the daytime."
Sundays, during at least part of the summer, St. John's Church puts on a reenactment of this speech. .... As I sat in the Church, where the speech was made, in the pews where the participants of that meeting would have heard the speech, and next to an actor in complete garb, I started to get into it. Henry starts with wanting to form a militia. Pendleton who scared the bajeezus out of me when he started interrupting Henry rather loudly, retorted his requests, and was joined by others. The Kings ministers are evil, not the King. This will be ok if we just wait. We do not want conflict with our King. We are not prepared. Finally, Patrick kind of loses it, 18th Century style, and goes through everything they have done to solve the issue peaceably. He then goes into while his detractors want to avoid a war, there are troop laden ships in American harbors. America faces no outward threat - those troops are here for us. The war had already started. I am not even close to giving this play justice because by the end of it I am ready to go to war too.