Your host to American History
My and our compliments on everything about you, your appearance, your manner and actions, had me believing that you were alive and standing talking to us. Unbelievable -- Everett from Philadelphia
David C. Wood presents Benjamin Franklin, warm and smiling, fun-loving, soft spoken—mild mannered and rather late in his life. Franklin is a complex, multi-faceted person with an immense intellect and an enormous contribution to the founding of America. David begins with a formal program, but it often naturally veers off to cover various topics! As he performs — the smiles, body language, interactions, and unscripted question and answer session can often lead into other areas. David’s extensive research allows him to speak on a variety of topics including the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the political appointments, the inventions, and/or the science. The typical requests are for the Constitution, the Declaration, and the inventions. However, to even attempt to give his life its proper due, would require more time than the typical presentation permits. At the same time — and with much the same parameters — it is difficult to break his life into smaller segments, so much of what he did is interwoven with every other part. That is our quandary, but with your input David can tailor an appropriate presentation — Ben Franklin Presents can discuss what is most appropriate for the audience and setting -- Please contact us!
I was immediately drawn into the moment, and begin to ponder the birth of the American nation -- Barbara from Colorado
Benjamin Franklin was a Founding Father, as well as an inventor, scientist, printer, politician, freemason, and diplomat. Franklin helped to draft the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, and he negotiated the 1783 Treaty of Paris ending the Revolutionary War. His scientific pursuits included investigations into electricity, mathematics, and mapmaking. A writer known for his wit and wisdom, Franklin also published Poor Richard’s Almanack, invented bifocal glasses, and organized the first successful American lending library.
I would tell you that I am impressed, it is unbelievable how real and authentic you both look and act. I just was a bit taken aback by how really real you seemed -- Peter from Philadelphia
David typically follows the Chautauqua Method that has historically divided the performances into three phases. First, the performer appears before the group in costume and speaks for 5 to 45 minutes. Following this portion, the floor is open to any question the audience may wish to ask. The questions can focus on the time period or more modern question can be fielded. Should the question ask about the present day, the performer will use his or her knowledge of character to craft a reply. Following questions, the final portion of the Chautauqua begins, with the performer breaking character, presenting a short speech, and answering any additional questions as a historian.
Unbelievably authentic! Jack, Colorado
David has traveled to Philadelphia, PA on several occasions. He has gained a personal feel for Ben by “walking in his footsteps.” David has also visited and researched in several of the institutions that Ben founded or had a founding role in creating. In addition, David has studied The Papers of Benjamin Franklin from Yale University in Connecticut and The Founders Online: Papers of America’s Founding Era from he National Archives in Washington D.C. David’s personal Franklin reference library includes over 50 books. His bibliography is available on request.
A father of two, a former Chief of Police, a Veteran of the Armed Services, a recipient of a Presidential Volunteer Award, and a graduate of the College of Mortuary Science in San Francisco, CA; he worked several years as a licensed funeral director and embalmer. Dave has been a Chautauqua performer for over 16 years. Well-versed in other characters, he now concentrates exclusively on one of America’s founders — Benjamin Franklin, and dedicates himself fully to these theatrical performances.
I enjoyed your portrayal of Ben Franklin very much! It was very professional, charming, and engaging. I look forward to your next performance! Continued success in all you do -- Sandra from Colorado
A performance by David C. Wood will bring Benjamin Franklin to life, providing a very real sense of the history of America’s founding.
His portrayal captures the intellect, humor, wit and humanity of this legendary historical figure.
Topic varies upon request — for a traditional program , the length is usually from 45 to 90 minutes, depending on the event. As well, David can perform Franklin as an after dinner speaker, keynote or other address (other formats as discussed). David will gladly do two events — one performance and one media event or publicity event — each day, and can often make himself available for additional media events. He is happy to do promotion with local radio, TV, and print media remotely prior to a performance. School programs are welcome, but they must be supervised. Students should, if possible, prepare for his appearance.