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Publicity for Lincoln Performance

Cabin Fever

2014 Cabin Fever Luncheon

January 25, 2014 at 11 am

Saratoga National Golf Club

Cabin Fever 2014 is thrilled to announce our guest speaker – Abraham Lincoln!

Well, not the actual 16th President of the United States of America but pretty darn

close, Dr. Gene Griessman. Gene Griessman, (aka Abraham Lincoln) is

celebrated around the world for his books on, training films, and memorable


As an actor and playwright, he has performed at Fordʼs Theater, the Georgia

Dome before 25,000, the Lincoln Memorial, and aboard the famed carrier the

USS Abraham Lincoln. He has conducted exclusive interviews on TV and in print

with American presidents, actors, sports stars, and business leaders. He has

won numerous awards including the Benjamin Franklin Award. He often appears

on television and radio, and his award-winning productions have aired nationally..

He is the creator of Heʼs been listed in “Whoʼs Who In America”

and “Whoʼs Who In The World” for years. He is a member of the Television


Please join us, be motivated and inspired while learning more about our 16thPresident!


Lincoln scholar/actor to perform at Sandy Springs church

by Bobby Tedder

February 05, 2014 08:46 AM | 975 views | 1 | 30 | |

Staff / Samantha M. Shal / Gene Griessman relaxes at home.

Special Photo / Griessman in character as Abraham Lincoln.

Gene Griessman, as has become second nature through the years, will once again summon

the iconic 16th president of the U.S. for public consumption.

The Sandy Springs resident is set to perform his heralded one-man show, “The Wit and

Wisdom of Abraham Lincoln,” at Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Sandy

Springs Sunday, in honor of Presidents Day Feb. 17.

“Whenever polls are conducted, he’s generally our most admired president,” said Griessman.

“For many individuals, Lincoln is a constant inspiration. … They think if a man who started

out with so few advantages can become so successful, they can, too.”

Griessman, in full period costume, has taken audiences on a unique journey as Lincoln for

the past 20-plus years. The show’s premise finds Honest Abe back from the grave — in

effect, a space-traveling “friendly ghost” — who has appeared to share the secrets of his

success and words of wisdom.

“That is what separates this [experience] from the Lincoln lookalikes and impersonators … in

that here Lincoln has a message,” said Griessman.

Sunday  marks  a rare public performance of Griessman’s nod to Lincoln as he typically plays

conventions, professional associations and other special limited engagements.

Proceeds from the church show will go to charity — that venue’s track record for such

endeavors and policy  of tolerance the chief reasons Griessman chose it for his next show.

For church officials, Griessman’s nuanced work — the message and messenger — made

the booking a no-brainer.

“It will be like having the real Abraham Lincoln in person,” said Beryl Grall, chief organizer of

the event. “Entertaining our visitors in a meaningful way is a strong tradition here at


“Sharing Lincoln’s special and timely message on leadership in times that demand

leadership — who better than Abe to teach us about handling the pressing issues of today?”

Griessman has written four books about the nation’s 16th president, who is credited with

preserving the Union through the Civil War and severing the then-young country’s ties to the

African slave trade.

The Georgia Tech professor of sociology conceived the one-man show more than two

decades ago on wings of inspiration brought forth by his other gig at the time, host of “Up

Close,” a TV program on TBS. Interviews with luminaries like Ray Charles and Tennessee

Williams — and an eye on history — pointed him in the direction of paying tribute to another

highly successful American.

“Lincoln had nothing and only one year of schooling … and he was able to go from a log

cabin to the White House,” said Greissman.

“Doing this [one-man] show has taken me to places that I never dreamed I would go.”

That includes a stint aboard the aircraft carrier the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln, the Georgia

Dome and two showings at Ford’s Theater in Washington. The latter venue, unsurprisingly,

conjured the most vivid memories as it is where Lincoln was mortally wounded by an

assassin’s bullet in 1865.

“It is a surreal experience to stand on the stage and look up to the opera box where Lincoln

was sitting that fateful night and to realize I’m standing just a few feet from where John

Wilkes Booth landed  [after shooting the president],” Greissman said. “It was an amazing

experience. … I don’t know if I’ve had one like it before or since.”


The Wit and Wisdom of Abraham Lincoln

Preeminent Abraham Lincoln actor, playwright and scholar, Dr. Gene

Griessman will present “The Wit and Wisdom of Abraham Lincoln” at

Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Sandy Springs, GA

on Sunday, February 9, 2013 at 7:00 pm.

Sandy Springs, GA, November 12, 2013 –(– Northwest

Unitarian Universalist Congregation is bringing one of the world’s

preeminent Abraham Lincoln actors, playwrights and scholars to

Sandy Springs for a special President’s Day Celebration

appearance on Sunday, February 9th at 7:00 pm.

Internationally known Lincoln scholar and actor, Dr. Gene

Griessman, will appear in costume as the 16th President

delivering the presentation, “The Wit & Wisdom of Abe Lincoln.”

“It will be like having the real Abraham Lincoln in person,” said

Beryl Grall, the organizer of this event. “President Lincoln never

visited Sandy Springs; bringing him here to share his knowledge

150 years later doesn’t seem like a moment too soon.”

The wit, humor and eloquence of the 16th  President are brought

to life by Griessman’s remarkable performance and uncanny

resemblance to Lincoln. His stirring portrayal of Lincoln will take

us back to the Gettysburg address and moments before his

assassination at Ford’s Theatre. Through Lincoln’s wisdom and

wit, Griessman will share the secrets Lincoln learned for dealing

with the challenges we face in our everyday lives including:

leadership, communication and personal achievement. He will

offer some unforgettable lessons from one of the greatest figures

of all time in this once in a lifetime opportunity.

“Entertaining our visitors in a meaningful way is a strong tradition

at Northwest,” said Beryl Grall. “Sharing Lincoln’s special and

timely message on leadership in times that demand leadership –

who better than Abe to teach us about handling the pressing

issues of today,” she said.

Location: Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 1025

Mt. Vernon HWY NW, Sandy Springs, GA 30327

Time/Date: February 9, 2013; VIP Reception 6:00 pm;

Performance 7:00 pm.


at Northwest,” said Beryl Grall. “Sharing Lincoln’s special and

timely message on leadership in times that demand leadership –

who better than Abe to teach us about handling the pressing

issues of today,” she said.

Location: Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 1025

Mt. Vernon HWY NW, Sandy Springs, GA 30327

Time/Date: February 9, 2013; VIP Reception 6:00 pm;

Performance 7:00 pm.




About Dr. Gene Griessman

Dr. Gene Griessman is an internationally known public speaker,

author, actor and consultant. He has spoken at conventions and

annual meetings worldwide. As an actor and playwright, he has

performed his one-man play on Abraham Lincoln at Ford’s

Theatre and before large audiences at the Georgia Dome and the

Ice Palace. He’s conducted exclusive interviews with US

Presidents, famous actors, sports figures, business leaders and

Nobel Laureates. Griessman is the author of numerous books and

articles on famous high achievers.

About Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation

Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation is a liberal religious

community that draws its heritage from many sources and its

energy from the commitment and diversity of its members. We

delight in the variety of individual spiritual journeys we share with

each other. We truly welcome people of all theologies, ages, races,

abilities, heritage, and sexual orientation to join our vibrant

community for worship and spiritual growth.


Lincoln inspires second career

Posted: 12:00 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014

Email 0 Facebook 10 Twitter 0 ShareThis 10


There are few success stories more inspiring than the life of Abraham Lincoln, and it’s hard

to imagine a better way to hear that tale than listening to the man himself tell it.

That’s the theory behind the performances of Gene Griessman. For 20 years, the Atlanta

resident has performed around the world as Lincoln to illustrate the principles of success: He

brings his one-man show to the Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Sandy

Springs on Sunday.


Artwork of Lincoln from the collection of Gene Griessman.

Griessman is a former Georgia Tech sociology professor who, he said, “got interested in what

makes people highly successful.”

Griessman hosted a television show on TBS called “Up Close” for which he interviewed

celebrities, politicians and other successful people, and he eventually wrote a book called

“The Achievement Factors.” He soon started a career speaking at conventions about people’s

attitudes that contribute to success.

“I was talking about the subject, but I thought, ‘Why don’t I create a one-man play about

some historical figure who embodies the principles of high achievement I’ve been speaking

about?’ So I came up with Lincoln,” he said. “Lincoln is a way of illustrating what it takes to

be successful.”


Gene Griessman, shows a hat given to him by the crew after a performance aboard the aircraft carrier, USS

Abraham Lincoln, … Read More

“Lots of people defend their lack of success because they don’t have many advantages,”

Griessman said. “In the Lincoln story, all of that is set aside. Lincoln was born with no

money. He was born with no connections. He only went to school one year; he never went to

college. He was not a handsome guy. He was ungainly and awkward. The message of Lincoln

is: If he can do it, anybody can. I think that’s the reason he’s our most admired president.”

Though Griessman was already earning thousands of dollars per speech on the lecture

circuit, he started doing his Lincoln for free at retirement homes. “I think DeKalb College was

the first to pay me to do a Lincoln,” he said. “I was thrilled that I was starting this other


Capturing the look of Lincoln wasn’t difficult: Griessman began by renting a costume from a

local theatrical supply store and hiring a wig maker to design a beard. Eventually, he bought

his own Lincoln replica suit and grew a beard like Lincoln’s.

Gene Griessman as Abraham Lincoln.

But the voice proved to be more of a challenge. “When I first began doing the program, I

affected a falsetto, high-pitched voice,” he said. “That turned out to be a distraction. People

were paying so much attention to the falsetto voice they were missing the message.”

Now, Griessman speaks in his own baritone voice, with a mention early in the show that

Lincoln’s actual speaking voice was very different. Strangely enough, Griessman’s voice tends

to be closer to how people imagine Lincoln speaking than what 19th-century accounts

describe as a nasally, high tenor voice.

“Once after one of my performances a woman came up to me and said, ‘You sound just like

Lincoln,’ ” he said.

Griessman eventually took early retirement to devote himself to his Lincoln performances.

“It became a whole new career,” he said.

He’s written three books about Lincoln and recently completed a play, “Lincoln’s Last

Debate.” Over the past 20 years, he’s performed at the Lincoln Memorial; the Carter Library;

twice at Ford’s Theater in Washington, where Lincoln was shot; and even on the aircraft

carrier USS Abraham Lincoln. His largest audience was at a convention at the Georgia Dome

in front of 25,000. Griessman now performs as Lincoln about twice a month at fundraisers,

conventions and leadership workshops.

“I’ve done it so many times, I actually feel like I’ve become Lincoln,” Griessman said. “It’s

sort of uncanny for me.”

For the show, Griessman plays Lincoln returning to Earth to share what he learned about

achievement and success during his life. The text is partly fictional and partly composed of

quotes from Lincoln’s speeches and letters. During the show, Griessman recites the

Gettysburg Address and excerpts from the first and second inaugural addresses.

Griessman has nothing but praise for others who take on the role of Lincoln.

“Daniel Day Lewis is the best movie Lincoln ever,” Griessman said of the actor’s Oscarwinning

performance in the recent film by Steven Spielberg. “A buddy of mine contacted me

after seeing the Spielberg movie and said, ‘I cannot believe an actor the stature of Daniel Day

Lewis would stoop to impersonating you.’ ”