Ain Gordon's project, In This Place . . ., is to find forgotten historic stories and theatrically remember them, rescuing them from a vanished past. His 18-month residency at the Painted Bride Art Center will eventually include a Philadelphia story in what will become a series of plays. But this show, the first installment, takes place in Lexington, Ky.
It was here Gordon found an old house, set for demolition, that turned out to have been built by Samuel Oldham in 1835. Oldham was a freed slave who bought his wife, Daphney, and their sons freedom. Who were these people? They lived in the house four years and then were gone. The Lexington archivist could find no headstones or any record of where or when they were born or buried. And so Gordon invented personalities and events for this couple - how they met, courted, married, and raised two sons in that big, brick, two-story house.