University of South Carolina

'Looking Over the President's Shoulder'

By Megan Sexton,, 803-777-1421

A Broadway star will bring to life the compelling story of Alonzo Fields, an African-American who spent 21 years as the chief butler in the White House, on a University of South Carolina stage Sept. 12-15.

“Looking Over the President’s Shoulder,” a play written by James Still based on Fields’ life, will be performed at Drayton Hall Theatre on the USC campus.

The one-man show is told from the perspective of Fields, the grandson of a freed slave who grew up in an all-black town in southern Indiana. He accepted a job in the White House in 1931, and was appointed chief butler, serving Presidents Herbert Hoover, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower.

Lawrence Hamilton, a Broadway performer who has starred in productions around the world, will play the role of Fields. Hamilton made his Broadway debut in 1979 in “Timbuktu” starring Eartha Kitt. Since then he has performed on Broadway in shows such as “Ragtime” and “Blues in the Night,” as well as developing a music career.

Throughout the week, events celebrating the show will be held on the USC campus. A voter registration drive will be held from noon-2 p.m. Sept. 11 on Greene Street.

'Looking Over the President's Shoulder'


  • When: 8 p.m., Sept. 12-15
  • Tickets: $12, students; $16, USC faculty and staff, those 60 and older and military personnel; $18, general public.
  • Call 803-777-2551 or visit the Longstreet Theatre Box Office, 1300 Greene St. Tickets will also be available at Drayton Hall immediately before each performance.

News and Internal Communications

Posted: 09/14/12 @ 11:00 AM | Updated: 09/14/12 @ 12:44 PM | Permalink