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Bill Robling as Benjamin Franklin this coming Wednesday, Feb. 8
Bill Robling is pictured as Benjamin Franklin.
At 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 8, Bill Robling of Philadelphia will take the Coolidge Theatre stage as Benjamin Franklin at the Deane Center for the Performing Arts at 104 Main Street in Wellsboro. Following his performance will be a question and answer session with the audience.
Robling, an actor for more than 35 years, has portrayed Franklin with wit and wisdom for over 15 of those years. His portrayal comes from his years of experience in theatre, hundreds of hours of study of Ben Franklin’s life, and a commitment to accuracy in costuming, information and demeanor.
Benjamin Franklin was the 15th of 17 children. Born on Jan. 17, 1706, he died on April 17, 1790 at age 84.
Among the leading intellectuals of his time, Franklin was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, a drafter and signer of the United States Declaration of Independence, and the first United States Postmaster General.
He was a writer, scientist, inventor, statesman, diplomat, printer, publisher and political philosopher.
Pooling resources, Franklin initiated the first subscription library in the nation; gathering the leading thinkers of the day, Franklin promoted the exploration of science and humanities through scholarly research, helping to found the Philosophical Society; recognizing the need for better treatment of the sick, Franklin helped found Pennsylvania Hospital. He organized the first fire company in Philadelphia, as well as the first insurance company.
As ambassador to France, he was the successful fundraiser for the Colonial Cause. A delegate to the Constitutional Convention, Franklin continued to exert his powerful influence, and as President of the Pennsylvania Society for the Abolition of Slavery, Franklin spoke out against slavery. As Franklin said, “Well done is better than well said.”
Robling has appeared as Franklin for the History Channel, National Geographic Channel, the University of Virginia Library official welcome film, the Nerdist Podcast, Fox News Channel, ABC Good Morning America, NBC 10 Philadelphia and many other media outlets.
As Dr. Franklin, he has also officiated at weddings, thanks to the Pennsylvania Self-Uniting marriage license.
This is the fifth of seven History Comes Alive shows being presented by the Deane Center during the 2022-2023 series. The two remaining performances will be in the Deane Center’s Coolidge Theatre at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 15 with Jill Lawrence as Betsy Ross and Wednesday, April 12 with Robert Gleason as William Penn. Tickets for each show are $15. Children 12 and under accompanied by a paying adult are admitted free.
For information or tickets, call (570) 724-6220 or visit www.deanecenter.com.
Writing: Diane Eaton