The Revolution Will be Televised
What it is:
A historical re-enactor portraying George Washington decides to run for Mayor of a small town as the historical character George Washington.
George Washington – the indispensable man and candidate for political office. George Washington is an excellent leader of men; however, he is burdened by his unrequited love for Martha Custis, who works for his political opponent.
Benjamin Franklin – the man of science. Dr. Franklin is a free spirit. Although he technically works for the campaign, Franklin is usually off engaging in other pursuits.
Thomas Jefferson – the man of reason. Jefferson is a father to a teenage girl and the best writer of the group. Jefferson is always protecting his family and looking out for his interests even if they are at odds with those of others.
Alexander Hamilton – the man of genius. Hamilton is a political prodigy. Hamilton is always looking ahead trying to figure out how to maximize the effectiveness of everything that Washington does.
John Adams – the man of eccentricity. Adams argues with everyone. Adams is the most stable man of the group and is often politically effective, but he also alienates people in the process of getting what he wants.
Living History is a show about historical re-enactors who portray the founding fathers. This is the West Wing meets House of Cards with a twist. After breaking up with his girlfriend, a political adviser to the town's corrupt mayor, a historical re-enactor who plays George Washington decides to exact revenge on her by running for Mayor himself as the historical figure George Washington.
Convinced that, with his Team of Rivals campaign team of Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, and Benjamin Franklin he can beat anyone, George takes on more than he can handle and finds himself in the fight of his life just to stay alive in the race.
Each of the characters is trying as hard as they can to be as true to the person that they are portraying as possible. At the end of the day however, they are just re-enactors and they don't want to admit that. Each character becomes so obsessed with the idea of who they are pretending to be that they eventually believe that they are the historical characters that they are portraying.
The Show’s Themes:
Who hasn’t wondered what the Founding Fathers would think of America today? Everyone has an idea as to who the founders were and what they stood for. Living History provides a prism with which to look at everyday life. The founders are faced with a foe who wants to modernize their small community. The founders believe that in fighting someone else’s ideas that they are upholding their own system of values.
What happens when people who are idolized and worshiped take human form? In Living History, everyone’s lives are cast by someone else. They don’t get to pick their friends, their families, and in some cases, their enemies. Forced to deal with a lack of choices, these figures become absorbed in a world where neither the past nor the present exists in a pure form.
The founders must choose between the ideas of their historical counterparts or the ideas that contemporary society has judged to be right or wrong. Living History is something that we do every day and by understanding our past we’re better able to understand the present and make better choices in the future.
The idea at the core of Living History is that you and I know where we are, who we are and what we're doing, but what about re-enactors? What happens when actors become so consumed with their characters that they begin living in the present as if they were alive in the very distant past? We all get carried away from time to time, but in Living History getting carried away becomes a way of life.