Honest it's Abe, the original stage play was designed as a two act, one set, five actor production. It's relatively easy to produce and it works best in intimate theaters. From 99 seats to 499. The sound and lighting cues can be managed by one nimble stage tech. Technically the show is not difficult. So enough of that.
The relationship between Elizabeth Rutledge and Professor Beacon provides the central conflict. Beth has two allies, Ramon Delgado a Mexican-American who feels no connection to Lincoln (at first) and William Freeman, an African-American who is actually angry, having been taught in high school that Lincoln was over rated. On the side of Professor Beacon is the 16th President. Or at least that's what Beacon claims, as he seems to be the only one who can see Abraham Lincoln standing in the classroom. Beacon and the entire audience hear Lincoln's conversations but to the dumb struck students, Professor Beacon is "Loco" and a little scary.
It's a play that requires a strong director and five good actors. But when performed well, once the director discovers all the extra moments of physical comedy, sight gags and reaction jokes which extend the humor beyond the dialogue, then the producers will see how truly funny Abe Lincoln can be. A word of assurance might be needed; This is a very respectful, historically accurate script. The intent is to have the audience exit the theater admiring Mr. Lincoln. His story is powerful and largely forgotten. But!!!! We reveal it with humor. This play has a classic structure, there is a strong story line and conflicts which must be resolved. The play's duty is to entertain the audience. If you want a lesson on President Lincoln, Google him. If you want an entertaining evening which puts Lincoln's life in perspective and considers the reasons why Lincoln continues to be relivent in an age of cell phones, then produce this play.
The casting of Lincoln is critical, a look a like will not due. Lincoln must be able to act and speak in a powerful manor. Thus it is far less important that the actor looks like Abe then speak like Abe. We use a trick which sells the Lincoln-Actor's appearance and when you put on the play we will tell you how.
On the other hand, the casting of the three students is far more flexible. Hipsters, geeks or politically correct high achievers all can work.
And the casting of Professor Beacon is also extremely flexible. Starting with male or female, then old or not so old and the professor's race is totally open for interpretation.
The running time is about 93 minutes and it can be put on with or without an intermission. For any interested producer, there is much more to say. Were your organization interested in seeking performance rights please contact:
At the Lincoln Heritage Theater Company
c/o P.O. BOX 579
La Canada, Ca 91012