Photo credit: Alison Cohen Rosa/HBO

“The Gilded Age” Actress Denée Benton to Headline Event at Rosecliff on July 9th

Last updated:

Tony Award-nominated actress Denée Benton, who co-stars as Peggy Scott in the acclaimed HBO historical drama “The Gilded Age,” will join the show’s co-executive producer and historical consultant, Dr. Erica Armstrong Dunbar, for a special evening of dinner and conversation at Rosecliff on Tuesday, July 9.

During this special edition of The Preservation Society of Newport County’s annual David B. Ford Lecture, entitled “Becoming Peggy Scott,” Benton and Dunbar will explore the creation of this pioneering character, the historical women who inspired her and the collaborative process that ensured historical and social accuracy.

“The Gilded Age” has received praise for its depiction of Black society in 19th-century New York, telling this important but often overlooked story through the character of Peggy Scott, an educated young woman from an affluent family in Brooklyn. The development of her character as an independent activist and journalist who encounters racism in both North and South has become one of the central stories through the first two seasons of “The Gilded Age.”

The discussion will follow dinner in the Rosecliff ballroom.

“I cannot wait to hear Denée and Dr. Dunbar talk about the creative process that brought such an interesting character to life,” Preservation Society CEO Trudy Coxe said. “Peggy Scott seems like a living, breathing historical figure, and watching her character grow has been one of the highlights of this series. Now that we know ‘The Gilded Age’ has been renewed, I hope we get some hints about what to expect in Season 3.”

Benton’s previous film and television credits include the 2019 independent feature “Our Friend” and Lifetime’s acclaimed series “UnREAL.” Benton is also an acclaimed theater actor, recently starring as Cinderella in the hit Broadway revival of “Into the Woods.” She has had starring roles in the Broadway productions of “Hamilton” and “Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812,” for which she was nominated for the 2017 Tony Award.

Dr. Dunbar is the Charles and Mary Beard Distinguished Professor of History at Rutgers University. She serves as a historical consultant and producer for multiple television projects and feature films, and she is the award-winning author of several books of nonfiction, including “A Fragile Freedom: African American Women and Emancipation in the Antebellum City” and “Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge.”

Tickets for this special evening are $325 per person and attendance is in-person only. To learn more and purchase tickets, visit




Like Newport Buzz? We depend on the generosity of readers like you who support us, to help with our mission to keep you informed and entertained with local, independent news and content. We truly appreciate your trust and support!