ARTS Pick: Nick Drake

Playwright Nick Drake will discuss his research on George Drake, the personal valet of John F. Kennedy. Publicity image. Playwright Nick Drake will discuss his research on George Drake, the personal valet of John F. Kennedy. Publicity image.

Influential figure: While developing a play about a meeting between former president John F. Kennedy and former British prime minister Harold Macmillan, screenwriter and playwright Nick Drake came across another figure in Kennedy’s life that piqued his interest—George Thomas, who was JFK’s personal valet from his time in the Senate until his death. Drake’s research led him to the Miller Center and then to Thomas’ hometown of Berryville, Virginia, where his review of photographs, travel records, and oral histories raised the idea that Thomas had an influence on Kennedy’s landmark June 1963 address that laid the groundwork for the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Playwright and director Leslie Scott-Jones will host a discussion with Drake to distill his findings.

Thursday 3/28. Free, 6pm. Jefferson School African American Heritage Center, 233 Fourth St. NW. 260-8720.