Conflict, comedy and dazzling special effects highlight this tale of an American hero's struggle to tame heaven's own power - electricity. Long before the Declaration of Independence, Ben Franklin was a scientist obsessed with the mastery of "electrical fire" in the face of opposition from church and family. When he rescues a wounded boy from a cruel apprenticeship, the boy, in turn, teaches Franklin the secrets of the "giant" and together they confront ignorance and reveal the power of a questioning mind. William, Franklin's conservative son, sides with the local clergy who declare that redirecting lightening is "interfering with God's plan." But Franklin, his young apprentice and his daughter, Sally, set out to prove that lightning can be harnessed to protect the people of Philadelphia. "Resolve to perform what you ought, perform without fail what you resolve". Blending historical fiction with contemporary resonance, this thrilling play for families culminates on a stormy night with the crack of thunder, a blinding light and an experiment that changed the world. Cast: 5 men, 2 women
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Photos Curtesy of Arden Theatre Company, Philadelphia, PA.
"Engrossing and entertaining... skillfully wraps scientific inquiry, romance, family conflict and Frankliniana..."
--The Philadelphia Inquirer.
"...a top drawer piece of theatre. It held the audience completely rapt, cheering every scene and wanting more. As the students left, you could practically hear the Benjamin Franklin websites starting to crash."
The published version of the play premiered at Arden Theatre Company in Philadelphia, PA in 2004, directed by Aaron Posner.
Originally Commissioned by The Louisville Children's Theatre, premiered in 2000, directed by Moses Goldberg.
Developed at New York University's Provincetown Playhouse in June 2001, directed by Scot Copeland.