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WHY BENJAMIN FRANKLIN?
~ David Lewis

We have been brought up to think of our Founding Fathers as something beyond mere mortal human beings. Possibly because our contemporary leaders have for the most part been decidely too human. However, to deify the Founders does them a disservice, for it was their ongoing battle with their own human feelings, passions, and prejudices that make their achievements that much more impressive.

 

Benjamin Franklin seemed to me the most interesting of them all. The breadth of his resume is unsurpassed, even by Thomas Jefferson. He was a printer, pamphleteer, inventor, politician, philanthropist, social activist, scientist, satirist, statesman, and diplomat. At every crucial step of our way from British colonies to independent nation he was there. Add to that an unquenchable curiosity coupled with a certain mischievous whimsy and you have the foundation for a compelling and fascinating character.

 

I have whenever possible incorporated Franklin’s own words into the play, making the necessary allowances for archaic syntax and the obvious difference between words written to be read and words written to be spoken aloud.


A one character show is wholly dependent upon the inherrent ‘interesting-ness’ of the subject. Benjamin Franklin satisfies that requirement completely. Any failure to sustain the audience’s interest in this most interesting man is solely my own.


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Synopses of other plays by David Lewis:

Lost Languages:  Henry Tate, an elderly artist,
and his wife, Mae, have retired to a secluded cottage, far from
temptation.  One night an unexpected visitor arrives.  Lost
Languages
is a play about life, art and chance. 
See the photo album, below, for photographs from this production.

PLAYBILL | PROGRAM


M.M. xx:  What would you do to be the most
famous woman in the world?  What would it do
to you?  On the last night of her life, Marilyn
 Monroe reminisces   PLAYBILL


Trust: 
With their father seriously ill, the Grainger children gather at the family estate.  Let the recriminations begin!


Sacred Monster:  There's no business like show business.
Legendary actor Rex Cargill tries to pull himself together for
one last hurrah.

Untitled:  Murphy's life of quiet dissolution is interrupted by his
publisher, his ex-wife and an intrepid young woman who insists
on 'helping' him finish his long overdue novel.


A Screwball Comedy:  Judge Leland Bottoms' youngest
daughter refuses to marry a rich man, and his eldest daughter
insists on marrying a poor one.  Meanwhile, his wife is getting
perhaps too close to her spiritual adviser, Uncle Willie has come
home, and there are two complete strangers drinking all of his
gin.  And who is that man wearing a pith helmet in the garden, anyway?!

Family Business:  Every family has secrets.  Some are just
more interesting than others.

A Cheap Farce:  A hotel room, a wandering husband, his
wife, her sister, a masseuse, a house detective, and a fetching
young lady with a tray full of cupcakes.  And that's just for
starters!

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