When Benjamin Franklin was a young boy, he loved the sea and longed to be a sailor, but his father didn’t want Benjamin to drown at sea, so Benjamin Franklin had to find the curiosity and adventure of the sea someplace else … Sebastienne Mundheim’s lyrical story of America’s most well-known founding father follows Franklin from his early childhood through many of his accomplishments as printer, inventor, and diplomat. A set made entirely of paper, dancing printing presses, giant buckle shoes, ethereal movers, comic actors, light and shadow play, and an eclectic soundscape use this American icon to explore the aesthetics of storytelling and ask questions about American identity.
Currently Franklin: The Story of a Paper Boy
“Full of charm…information and ideas. Suitable for children, as well as everybody else … it is a pleasure to see so much imagination …”
“Brilliant performance … genuine visionary … I’ve LEARNED”
Currently Franklin Trailer 2006
Currently Franklin Selects 2006
“Brilliant set work ... ingenuous interpretative movement … wonderfully creative puppetry …”
Tapping Franklin’s Currents Onstage, The Penn Gazette (March 2007)
Currently Franklin: The Story of a Paper Boy, The Philadelphia Inquirer (Sept 4, 2006)
Ben Franklin: Paper boy’s tale, The Philadelphia Inquirer (Sept 1, 2006)
Currently Franklin: The Story of a Paper Boy, Philadelphia Weekly (Aug 31 – Sept 7, 2006)
Currently Franklin: The Story of a Paper Boy, Philadelphia City Paper (Sept 7 – 14, 2006)
Artist Explores the Watery American, Penn Current (Nov 2, 2006)
No String Theory, City Paper (Nov 9, 2006)
From Paperboy To Legend, Philadelphia Theater Review (Nov 2006)
Artist Uses Puppetry, Dance & More, Daily News (Nov 13, 2006)
Freewheeling Franklin, New Era (April 13, 2006)
WRTI (Radio) Interview “Currently Franklin”, (Aug 2006)
“ ...unquestionably one of the most creative and engaging pieces of theatre I have ever seen.... while the individual elements of Mundheim’s shows are familiar---puppetry, simple lighting and sound, dance and movement, handcrafted props, voice, masks, poetry and narrative---it is their seamless and unexpected combination, as well as her wholly original aesthetic sensibility, that create a sense of surprise and revelation. These visual and material effects are anchored in a subtle and intelligent script that is both accessible and challenging to children and adults ... I highly recommend it.”
“...As the President of the Friends of Franklin, an international organization that promotes and explores Franklin’s legacy, I highly recommend “Currently Franklin” to people of any age, and for that matter even if they do not understand English, visually it’s a gem.”
30ft x 30ft floor space (no backstage or wings required)
10.5 ft ceiling minimum
Seating up to 300
Lights and sound travel with show
Touring capacity: national/international
Up to 4 shows/day
“Currently Franklin: The Story of a Paper Boy,” has many outreach possibilities. Content connections can be drawn to history, social studies, visual and performing arts, as well as education. Workshops are always designed in conjunction with the presenting organizations, and are taught by Sebastienne Mundheim or cast members. Workshops can range from one-hour sessions, to semester-long programs.
Originally commissioned by Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, PA
Creator: Sebastienne Mundheim.
Original workshop/development/performance with Fulton Family Ensemble, Lancaster, PA.
Sound Design: James Sugg and Sebastienne Mundheim.
Cast/Collaborators Summer-Fall 2006: Karin Bookbinder, Kate Carr, Charlie Delmarcelle, Aaron Mumaw, Sebastienne Mundheim.
Special Thanks: Kerry Sherin-Wright, Writers’ House Franklin and Marshall College, Myra Bazell, Madison Cario, Sara Labov, Jamie Labov, Alexandra Hanes, Kaitlin Dunn, Michael Zuckerman, Chad Kinsey, Gina Renzi, Andrew Zitcer.
Thoughtful Input: Barry Kornhauser, Charlie Delmarcelle, Kate Watson-Wallace, Whit MacLaughlin, Michael Zuckerman, Jennifer Snead, Travis Mesman.
Production/Research Assistants: Kaitlin Dunn, Sarah Giovaniello, Alexandra Hanes, Travis Mesman, Malese Schick, Kim Traube, Lindsey Winkler, Zachary Yorke, Elizabeth Zuckerman.
Funding and Presenting Support include: The Writers’ House of Franklin and Marshall College, The Philips Museum of Lancaster, PA, The Fulton Family Ensemble of the Fulton Theatre, The Community Partnerships Program of the University of Pennsylvania, The Rotunda of the University of Pennsylvania, The Stonington Opera House, Philadelphia Live Arts Festival, Lights of Liberty, Sigi Berwind, Ted and Stevie Wolf, and Gerry Lenfest.