Josh Kornbluth’s Ben Franklin: Unplugged

September 28 — November 21, 2009
In the Ellyn Bye Studio

Written & performed by Josh Kornbluth
in collaboration with director David Dower
“This ‘Ben’ is healthy, hilarious and wise…a hilariously disarming, enchanting, and ingenious tale.” — San Francisco Chronicle

Gazing into the bathroom mirror one morning while shaving, Josh Kornbluth realizes that he looks remarkably like the guy on the $100 bill. Like any good Jewish son, he immediately calls his mother. From there he becomes obsessed with what it means to be a founding father, especially when your own father/son relationship (Ben had an illegitimate son named William who was a British loyalist during the Revolutionary War) is more than a bit strained. Part “History Detectives” and part embarrassingly hilarious autobiography, Kornbluth’s resulting investigation of the man behind the famous spectacles will take you from the hallowed halls of academia to Kornbluth’s richly comic interactions with his mother Bunny and Aunt Birdie, sharing along the way his discoveries about America’s history, family foibles, and the surprises beneath the surface of even our most familiar American tall tales.

Performance Times

Evenings: Tuesday - Sunday at 7:30 p.m.
Matinees: Saturday and Sundays at 2 p.m.,
Thursdays at noon

*Note: These are general performance times. Certain productions may have exceptions. View the season calendar for more information.

This show's run time will be posted below the synopsis at left near the date of the first performance.

Production blog

“Tell me about your Mother, Josh. . . “

04 November 2009 & Posted by Kinsley Suer

Join us THIS Sunday, following the 2 p.m. matinee of Josh Kornbluth’s Ben Franklin Unplugged for Formative Stages: Theater and the Life of the Mind, copresented with The Oregon Psychoanalytic Center. For this installment, Dr. Nancy Winters will delve into issues of independence, family and parental disappointment, and self-reliance in Kornbluth’s play. Winters quipped that Kornbluth’s play is “a great example of psychotherapy in action,”  encouraging, as it does, Josh’s journey to find his own inner Ben Franklin.


The Printed Word Comes to The Armory Starting Thursday

03 November 2009 & Posted by Kinsley Suer

Join us Thursday, November 5th from 5 pm to 7 pm for a First Thursday reception where you can browse the work and then head off on further Pearl District gallery adventures (or stay and see the show that inspired the exhibit, Ben Franklin: Unplugged, at 7:30 pm).


Ben Franklin Aphorism Contest

28 October 2009 & Posted by Kinsley Suer

One very fun part of Benjamin Franklin’s printing career was the creation of Poor Richard’s Almanack, a collection of little nuggets of wisdom, or aphorisms.  To celebrate Ben Franklin Unplugged, we ran a contest on Twitter to coin your own 21st Century aphorism and tweet it to @pcsghost. Read on for a sampling of some of our favorites!



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Reviews and Features

Please check back closer to the show's opening date for reviews and features.


For current and upcoming shows, please see our Season Calendar.

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