June 17 - August 11

Seven Days a Week
11 AM | 1 PM | 3PM
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The original play Cato & Dolly offers a glimpse of everyday life inside the Hancock House through the eyes of those who lived there: Cato Hancock, an enslaved man serving the Hancock household, and Dolly Hancock, John Hancock’s wife and Frist Lady of Massachusetts.

Blood on the Snow playwright Patrick Gabridge gives life to the Revolutionary-era figures whose lives intersected at the famous Hancock House. Two actors take on eight real-life characters in a compelling drama that spans over 50 years, staged before the preserved front door of the iconic 18th-century mansion on display at the Old State House.

Unlock the forgotten stories of the past and step over the threshold of history to experience the lives of those who witnessed the dawn of American Independence.

Cato & Dolly is presented in partnership with Plays in Place, a group of theatre professionals working with cultural institutions to make site-specific theatrical experiences. Gabridge's powerful site-specific play at the Old State House, Blood On The Snow, had sold-out runs in 2016 and 2017 and was called “electric and alive” by WGBH’s Jared Bowen. This production was made possible in part by the support of the New England Women’s Club.

Entrance is included with general admission to the Old State House.

This program runs approximately 25 minutes.

Frequently Asked Questions >>


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  • How do I get to the Old State House?
    Please visit our Maps & Directions page.

  • Where is Cato & Dolly being performed?
    Performances are part of the Through the Keyhole exhibit in Representatives Hall, on the second floor of the Old State House, up the spiral staircase.

  • Are there any accessibility concerns to attend the performance?
    Please visit our Accessibility FAQs.

  • Is the performance appropriate for children?
    We recommend this performance for children ages 8 and up. There is no explicit language or imagery, but there are themes of slavery and childhood death discussed.

  • Why are there multiple actors listed for each role?
    The play is performed by two actors at a time from a rotating cast. Any given performance may have a different arrangement of actors in the cast.

  • Is there a talkback after the show?
    Each performance features an opportunity to discuss the content of the play with the cast and a member of the Bostonian Society staff.


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