Benjamin Franklin is a figure that most Americans and many non-Americans feel they know well. But the man we think we know as Ben Franklin is almost entirely a mythic figure—an incredibly persistent and omnipresent myth. Why do we want to believe that myth? What’s attractive about it to us as a culture, and what purpose does it serve? And what would it mean for Franklin to be portrayed as a human being instead of an idol?
Characters: 1 actor
Running Time: 75 minutes
Summary: This work combines storytelling, movement, and a dialogue with the audience. Spitting Against the Wind revolves around a creative re-interpretation of Benjamin Franklin. In this story I’ve brought Franklin back from the dead and cast him out on a journey that will test his limits as both a human and a myth. The piece delves into epic storytelling, American identity, sexuality, and the limits of our beliefs.
When & Where
Availability: In development.
• Excerpt presented at Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Brooklyn, NY, February 2010
• Workshop presentation offered at Dixon Place, New York, NY, March 2009
More about the show
In an age obsessed with self-help, self-medication, and the search for one’s true self, the father of self improvement returns to offer a revision of some of his most famous pronouncements. It turns out that Benjamin Franklin is still alive and well in the 21st century. Not long after his death a good friend brought him back from beyond the grave and he’s been journeying across Asia ever since, undertaking a personal and spiritual journey that has him questioning not only his early life, but also the purpose of life in general. Spitting Against the Wind is a multidisciplinary piece, incorporating dance and storytelling into a performance that asks us to reconsider some of our most deeply held beliefs.
Collaborators for the 2009 Dixon Place workshop included:
• Dancer and choreographer extraordinaire, Sarah Van Buren, of the famous Cheryls.
• Composer Brian Patchett.
This video has nothing to do with the show, but I like it.