"45 Plays for 45 President" Synopsis


Plot points may be revealed below.

“In the beginning, God separated light from darkness. He called the light the United States of America, and the darkness the British Empire. God said, let man elect a leader…”

So begins 45 Plays for 45 Presidents, and over the next two hours, we will witness the highs and lows of American history, all through the whimsical storytelling of five actors who bring  each commander in chief – and each respective era in American history – to life, using  just about every device imaginable.

Throughout the night, we’ll see:

  • Thomas Jefferson get “roasted” (Friars Club-style) by Ben Franklin.
  • James Monroe try to break up a catfight between the North and South.
  • Andrew Jackson perform with a jug band.
  • Lemonade vendors recount the story of vote fraud in the election of 1876.
  • Grover Cleveland throw a hedonistic dance party, twice.
  • Four actors all play Teddy Roosevelt at once (complete with fake moustaches).
  • Herbert Hoover attempt to end the Great Depression using a Rube Goldberg machine.
  • A musical tribute to Richard Nixon, with a group of burglars as backup singers.
  • A ferocious wrestling match between Al Gore and George W. Bush.

Plus 36 more short plays, which, whether hilarious, insightful, musical, tragic, or simply bizarre, coalesce to tell the great story of America, from our fledgling years of independence, to our devastating internal struggle with slavery, through reconstruction, prosperity, depression, war, adversity, and triumph – all of which have defined the country we are today.

At the end of the performance, We the Audience vote on who the next president—and what the final play of the evening—will be. And in doing so, we get our own say in how the story continues.