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Monologue Mania Day #142 by Janet S. Tiger A Ben Franklin Fourth (c) July 4, 2014 A Ben Franklin Fourth
(for the full-length play BEN)
by Janet S. Tiger
(c) July 4 , 2014 all rights reserved firstname.lastname@example.org
(Ben Franklin enters, he is dressed for dinner, and he is happy. He carries a glass of champagne)
Welcome, friends, to a special evening where we will be celebrating the birth of our United States, now two years ago, on this very day. We signed the Declaration, and became a nation, and tonight, here, in France, so very far from home, we lift our glasses to our second anniversary.
(He lifts his glass)
May we have many more!
(He drinks, then lowers his cup and head)
It is now with great sadness, that I announce the death of a dear friend, Ebenezer Kinnersley. He was a great scientist, and his work with electricity will enable the world to use this amazing scientific gift in many wonderful ways.
Ebenezer died today - July 4th, 1778. I will not learn of his death for several months, due to the difficulty receiving letters across an ocean where a war is being fought.
How do I know of his passing? Through the magic of something that will allow messages to pass not just on the same day, but instantly. It will have a strange name.....the Internet. Personally, I would call it something more dashing, to fit with the power of the lightning rod, but as I will be long gone physically by the time the Internet is named, I will have no influence except for that involving electricity itself, which, with Ebenezer, will be one of my gifts to the world.
How can I tell you of this now? There is a further magic- a magic of the arts. I have seen it work in strange ways, from Mr. Shakespeare, whose tales still affect us, through an upcoming book about slavery by Harriet Beecher Stowe- a book that will change our country, and the world, forever.
Drops of ink on a page, which helped us to start a revolution, will end slavery. Then electricity will enable words, then images to travel across space and time, and some will work to make an evil man almost destroy our entire world.
Tiny bits of electricity, spots of ink - humans speaking on stages, on boxes!......the world will shrink, and then grow! We will be able to see things on other planets, and throughout our universe, there will be a way to shine lights into our bodies to heal, and- after much bloodshed- we shall all be bonded into one world that has great ability to solve the problems of all people and any one person.
This is coming. Not tomorrow, not for a few centuries, but it is coming.
(He lifts his glass again)
Until that time, we must succeed in our quest for freedom.
Before the future, we must solve the present.
Our French friends, who we welcome to our table, continue to enable our small band of countrymen to fight off the British. Due to their stalwart support, we have news of great import, Within the last two weeks, the British Navy has fired upon the French Navy, and it is with great happiness, that I announce the imminent decision of France to declare war on Great Britain. Merci beaucoup!
(He drinks again)
And now, for eveyone's delight, we have a special meal, and then, as General George Washington is doing for his troops on the other side of the Atlantic, a double ration of rum for all at the table!
(He drinks to empty the glass and starts to leave)
I know we approved the Declaration of Independence on the second of July, and that John Adams always felt this should be the national holiday. I was there, and I know the real reason we celebrate on July 4. We say it’s because we all signed on July 4th, but the truth is - you can understand it, too, if you say it out loud - no one likes the (says it with disdain) Second of July! (With pride) July fourth…. go forth, our new nation, the FOURTH OF JULY! - Now that sounds like a day for ....fireworks!
(He exits, laughing. If you can, fireworks can be heard)
Happy 4th to all!
------------------------------------------- Janet S. Tiger 858-736-6315
Member Dramatists Guild since 1983
Swedenborg Hall 2006-8