"Arbitrary power is like most other things which are very hard: very liable to be broken."
Abigail Adams and her husband, John, have a bit of a disagreement about the way things are looking for women's rights in the months leading up to the creation of the Declaration of Independence.
Exclusively taken from (and in some cases very lightly paraphrased from) correspondence between Abigail and John between March and May of 1776, with the exception of Abigail's last line, which I like to think she was saying in spirit.
Thanks to The Liz Library for transcripts of these letters.
Characters: 1 female-identifying, 1 male-identifying
Abigail: 32. Strong-willed, passionate. A baller.
John: 41. Abigail's extremely lucky husband.
Time: 3 minutes
Genre: political, comedy, historical
Setting: Abigail and John's house, 1776
2018 | Washburn University, Topeka Ks
2018 | Iowa State University, Ames Ia
Official selection for the Protest Plays Project GET OUT THE VOTE initiative.
"Leaps off the page."
"I am in love with this tiny gem of a play! Henry has assembled her dialogue from correspondence between John and Abigail Adams and imbues it with such strong intention that it leaps off the page. This loving (yet pointed) debate between the Adams is an excellent opportunity for two strong performers to dive into heightened language and fully inhabit these historical figures to whom Henry has given sparkling new life."
"Small but mighty."
"Jordan Elizabeth Henry has a unique talent for being able to condense and find the essence of a subject and get right to the point without sacrificing dramatic tension or high stakes. In this small but mighty play, she brings us to consider the roots of our nation and its imperfections which would become national shames, in this case the shame of misogyny and the system which created a new nation at the cost of women's once again delayed rights and liberties. It's a play to leave you thinking about how, between the past and the present, much hasn't changed."
"A vibrant, spirited, drum march of a play that is ultimately a testament to the true power of voting -- and an homage to those who started our fights well before us."
"Thoroughly engaging, as Abigail the spirited wife gets in the face of John Adams. Reminds us of the struggle for the right to vote happened so long, long ago -- and that may inspire some audience members to exercise their right on Election Day. A smart choice for Get Out The Vote initiative for Protest Plays Project."
"I really like this one. I think it's cool that all of the lines come from correspondence between John and Abigail, and I love that we get to see one of Henry's plays in a different time period. This would be a cool addition to festivals."