7:15 pm | $5 admission | 1 hour 35 minutes

Constitutional scholar and defender of a strong central government Alexander Hamilton, thought to be part African American, is determined to stop the political career of self-made billionaire Aaron Burr, who Hamilton sees as a demagogue and would-be tyrant.

Robert Clem previously received funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities to research and write a screenplay for a period drama based on Hamilton and Burr set in the Founding period. He has been working on an updated version of the story for several years but recent events provided a new context. In the film the divided politics and slanderous campaigning of the 1790s and early 1800s becomes the poisonous blogosphere of today.

There are amazing parallels between Hamilton-Burr and Obama-Trump. The screenplay finds those parallels without making the story a parody of Donald Trump. Really, this is a timeless story of America at a crossroads, as it was then, as it is now. The script uses Hamilton’s own words in many passages. He was a believer that America is exceptional and the success of its democracy was all important. “It seems to have been reserved to the people of this country to decide the important question: Whether societies are really capable of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend on accident and force,” Hamilton wrote. “A wrong election of the part we shall act, may, in this view, deserve to be considered as the general misfortune of mankind.”

The reading is part of the Rosendale Theatre’s Artist’s New Work Forum, providing an opportunity for artists to present new work or works-in-progress to the public. Admission is $5 but donations are welcome for the artist towards completion of the work. A question and answer follows each program and audience members are asked to complete a survey at the end of the evening.