Play about life of White House butler to be performed at Hayes

Press Staff Writer

        When Alonzo Fields accepted a job as a butler at the White House in 1931, his plan was to work there for the winter.
        That winter lasted 21 years.
        The Great Depression forced Fields to give up his dreams of becoming an opera singer and accept the White House job, where he quickly became chief butler. He served four U.S. presidents: Herbert Hoover, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower and their families.
        The acclaimed play based on Fields’ fascinating life, “Looking Over the President’s Shoulder,” will be performed at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 12, at the Hayes Presidential Library & Museums in the museum auditorium.
         Tickets for non-members are $15 for adults and $10 for ages 18 years and younger. Tickets for Hayes Presidential members are $12 for adults and $8 for ages 18 years and younger.
        Tickets are available at They will also be sold at the museum front desk the day of the event, pending availability.
        “Looking Over the President’s Shoulder” is set on the eve of Fields’ last day on the job, and he reflects on his more than two decades of service with humor and pride. Famous guests throughout the years included Winston Churchill, Marian Anderson, Errol Flynn and the King and Queen of England.
        As Fields says in the play: “It was like being in the front row and watching the passing parade of history.”
        The play is written by James Still and culled from Fields’ private papers, diaries and interviews. It has been performed in major theaters across the country, including the Indiana Repertory Theatre and Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C.
        In this production, Tyrek Hyde plays Fields. Hyde also performed this role when the play was part of the American Presidents Film & Literary Festival in 2021.
        Hyde has been involved in theater productions since he was 10. He performed in “Rumpelstiltskin,” “Hansel & Gretel,” “Peter Pan,” “Rebel Without a Cause” and Ray Bradbury’s “Kaleidoscope,” among other plays. He also has worked behind the scenes and on stage as a performer at The Ritz Theatre in Tiffin and the Fort Findlay Playhouse.
        President Hayes’ 200th Birthday Celebration is sponsored by Croghan Colonial Bank.
        Hayes Presidential is located at Spiegel Grove at the corner of Hayes and Buckland avenues in Fremont.
        For information, call 419-332-2081, or visit Like Hayes Presidential on Facebook and follow on Twitter and Instagram at @rbhayespres for updates.


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