I wrote the script for this after students requested that we do another play in class. Even students who shy away from the spotlight and being in front of the class have been eager to participate in another play.
This play takes place in 1774 and centers around 31 year old Thomas Jefferson and 70 year old Benjamin Franklin as they discuss the impending war with England and how they should go about declaring independence. They decide to summon the spirits of deceased Enlightenment philosophers, while also conversing with famous figures who are still alive, in order to get tips on how to form a new government. This is a great intro or concluding activity during an Enlightenment unit.
The play is filled with important concepts like natural rights, responsibilities of the government, the social contract, check and balances, and women's rights.
It is also infused with humor and a bit of sillyness. Students will have a great time inhabiting these fun, quirky characters:
Cranky, Old-timer Benjamin Franklin
Frustrated Thomas Jefferson
Super-British John Locke
Pompous Frenchman Jean Jacques Rousseau
Feminist Mary Wollstonecraft
There are a total of 9 characters and the script is 12 pages in length.