“The Men of Rushmore…and Their Wives,” written and directed by Gina Sisbarro, opens April 15 at the Rose History Auditorium. This original play is the first of what will become an annual performance of “History Live” with the Marco Island Historical Society. The mission: Teach history through live theater in a way that will entertain both children and adults.
This production is unique in that all the characters are played by local youth, elementary through high school age. Some actors have performed with their beloved director Gina for over 10 years – many starting with her as young as age five. She envisioned the cast as she was writing the play.
“The Men of Rushmore…and Their Wives” focuses on one select time periodin the lives of each of the Mt. Rushmore presidents. George Washington is retired. Thomas Jefferson is considering the presidency. Abraham Lincoln is in his second term as president, following the Civil War. And Teddy Roosevelt is thinking of throwing himself back into the political arena after a brief retirement. Writer/Director Gina Sisbarro says, “You will witness moments in time that have changed the course of history.”
The inclusion of the wives – Martha, Patsy, Mary and Edith – offers the chance to learn lesser known facts and trivia about the presidents, and provides riveting entertainment. Audiences will delight hearing the intimate conversations that may have taken place between presidential husbands and wives. In addition to the presidents’ wives, there will be special appearances by WilliamLee (George Washington’s personal servant), Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, Tad Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt’s son, Kermit.
The show’s inception came about in October 2015, when Gina was approached by Gayle Thawley to do a historical/educational piece for the Marco Island Historical Society. The plan was to offer island students a free performance that would serve not only as a history lesson, but also as entertainment for both children and adults. Gina jumped on the opportunity, offering to both write and direct. The idea struck her to theme the presidents by using the familiar faces of Mt. Rushmore. Gina took her idea one step further by incorporating the presidents’ wives. The result – “The Men of Rushmore…and Their Wives” is the perfect event for family members of all ages to enjoy.