And Thomas Jefferson says

| 21 Feb 2012 | 10:42

    JEFFERSON - Jefferson Township's Bicentennial celebration continued with an appearance by Thomas Jefferson inpersonator Steven Edenbo at the Ellen T. Briggs and White Rock Schools April 20 and 21. Edenbo, an actor with the American Historical Theatre, presented his one-man show at student assemblies, then visited the classrooms for some questions and answers. Using wooden toys and mythical metaphors, Edenbo stayed in character as he described writing the Declaration of Independence, his work in the Continental Congress and dealing with his contemporaries at the time of the American Revolution. "Mr. [John] Adams has a good sense of humor about himself…after you admit he's right," said Edenbo. It wasn't easy finding a Thomas Jefferson impersonator, said Karen Maurer, a representative from the Jefferson Township Bicentennial Committee. Maurer introduced Edenbo, explaining to the students that Thomas Jefferson was president when the town was founded in 1804. "How many of you thought I would look different?" asked Edenbo, dressed in full colonial costume. "I'm 33 years old. This is how I looked when I wrote the Declaration of Independence." Edenbo took questions from the students who wanted to know such things as how long it took to write the Declaration of Independence and if he ever fought in the Revolutionary War. The importance of the Declaration of Independence, Edenbo explained, was to make sure that there would be a system set up for government after the colonists won the Revolutionary War. "First we had to make a country," said Edenbo as Jefferson. "Then we could make our country free." Edenbo has worked with the American Historical Theatre for about five years, he said. Although he did much of the research himself, he credits AHT artistic director William Sommerfield for some key ideas. Edenbo doesn't even mind when the students ask him questions such as "Are you dead?" "While I do take care doing the research…I also work with the knowledge that there is an element of ‘Santa Claus'," said Edenbo. "If they're giggling it means they're awake."