World Premiere of FOURTEEN: A Theatrical Performance at the National Constitution Center on June 19

Beginning on June 19, for select weeks, visitors can experience FOURTEEN, a moving theatrical performance that sheds new light on the Reconstruction era and the ratification of the 14th Amendment.
June 4, 2019


Annie Stone, 215-409-6687 [email protected]                                         
Merissa Blum, 215-409-6645 [email protected]                                                                                                                      


New theater project sheds light on the Reconstruction era and the ratification of the 14th Amendment

Philadelphia, PA (June 4, 2019) – Beginning on June 19, for select weeks, visitors can experience FOURTEEN, a moving theatrical performance that sheds new light on the Reconstruction era and the ratification of the 14th Amendment.

Through dramatic interpretation of original texts, the 30-minute performance—which is presented in conjunction with the National Constitution Center’s new permanent exhibit, Civil War and Reconstruction: The Battle for Freedom and Equality—will bring to life the leaders, influential figures, and everyday Americans who were central to the Reconstruction era. 

“It’s thrilling that visitors to the National Constitution Center will be able to experience a live theatrical performance of the moving words of heroes of the Reconstruction era—from Frederick Douglass to Harriet Jacobs—and of the congressional debates over the 14th Amendment,” said Jeffrey Rosen, president and CEO of the National Constitution Center. “FOURTEEN is an inspiring, heartbreaking, and creative work that brings to life the human stories and constitutional dramas of the Second Founding by allowing the Americans at the center of it to speak in their own words, using primary historical texts.”

To assist in the development of this theatrical performance, the National Constitution Center convened leading scholars—including Thavolia Glymph, professor of history and law at Duke University, and Darrell A. H. Miller, Melvin G. Shimm Professor of Law at Duke Law—to serve as advisors, and also assembled and engaged an advisory board of community members.

“It is critically important to teach today’s youth about the moments in history where people greatly debated whether or not black people could be citizens and about the black person’s fight for the right of citizenship,” said Thavolia Glymph, professor of history and law at Duke University. “The Center has this great exhibit on Reconstruction and the theater project, FOURTEEN, brings life to it. It makes it shine. It takes something that seems almost like a still life and animates it.”

FOURTEEN is created in collaboration and consultation with nationally recognized, award-winning artists and scholars, including Drama Desk Award-winning theater artist Suli Holum; three-time Obie Award-winning playwright, director, and actor Ain Gordon; John Collins of the internationally acclaimed theater company Elevator Repair Service; Tony Award-winning sound designer and composer Rob Kaplowitz; and Barrymore Award-nominated sound and scenic designers Daniel Ison and Sara Outing. This production is led by the Center’s director of theatre programs Nora Quinn.

The production will open on June 19, Juneteenth, the holiday that commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans throughout the Confederate States of America, and will be performed in the Center’s Bank of America Family Theater adjacent to the main exhibit space. On June 19, FOURTEEN will run at 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 2:30 p.m. Press interested in attending should contact Merissa Blum at 215-409-6645 or [email protected]. After opening on June 19, FOURTEEN will run Tuesdays through Saturdays at select times during museum hours until August 10. The performance will return in fall 2019 and spring 2020. FOURTEEN is free with general admission, but seating is limited. Visitors can contact Group Sales at 215-409-6800 for more information or to reserve seats. This production has been supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.


About the National Constitution Center
The National Constitution Center in Philadelphia brings together people of all ages and perspectives, across America and around the world, to learn about, debate, and celebrate the greatest vision of human freedom in history, the U.S. Constitution. A private, nonprofit organization, the Center serves as America’s leading platform for constitutional education and debate, fulfilling its congressional charter “to disseminate information about the U.S. Constitution on a nonpartisan basis.” As the Museum of We the People, the Center brings the Constitution to life for visitors of all ages through interactive programs and exhibits. As America’s Town Hall, the Center brings the leading conservative and liberal thought leaders together to debate the Constitution on all media platforms. As a Headquarters for Civic Education, the Center delivers the best educational programs and online resources that inspire citizens and engage all Americans in learning about the U.S. Constitution. For more information, call 215-409-6700 or visit

EDITOR’S NOTE: A list of artists and contributors follows.

Scholarly Advisors

  • Sheldon Gilbert, Vice President of Content and Development & Senior Fellow for Constitutional Studies, National Constitution Center                       
  • Tom Donnelly, Senior Fellow for Constitutional Studies, National Constitution Center                     
  • Thavolia Glymph, Professor of History and Law, Duke University
  • Darrell A. H. Miller, Melvin G. Shimm Professor of Law, Duke Law

Artistic and Production Team

  • Nora Quinn, Producing Artistic Director & Director of Theatre, National Constitution Center        
  • Suli Holum, Theatrical Director & Script Writer
  • Ain Gordon, Senior Research & Script Advisor
  • Alexandra Espinoza, Associate Director & Script Coordinator for laboratory and development stage
  • Sara Outing, Scenic & Properties Designer
  • Rob Kaplowitz, Senior Sound Designer & Content Contributor                   
  • Daniel Ison, Associate Sound Designer                  
  • Tara Webb, Costume Designer & Co-Projection Designer             
  • Daniel Kontz, Co-projection Designer and Documentarian
  • Angela Myers, Lighting Designer & Co-Projection Designer                          
  • Ben Levan, Associate Lighting Designer                 
  • Robert Edmondson, Technical Director/Associate Production Manager                 
  • Melissa Erlick, Production Stage Manager & Theatre Programs Manager, National Constitution Center   
  • Rachel Ceciro, Stage Manager   

Advisors and Consultants

  • John Collins, Project Advisor & Artistic Director
  • Adrienne Whaley, Senior Dramaturgical Advisor                               


  • Nathan Alford-Tate, Performer                
  • Ebony Pullum, Performer           



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