August 4th through September 3rd
St. Bonaventure Oratory
1625 Diversey Parkway, Chicago
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A dying Thomas Jefferson, his estate in debt and his family in chaos, is confronted with a grim choice: Appease the wealthy interests of the young country by affirming that the Declaration of Independence does not apply to slaves, or cement his legacy and the freedom of generations of black Americans by denouncing the evil institution on which the fragile economy depends.
To resolve this dilemma, Jefferson turns to Edgar Allan Poe, a new student and burgeoning poet at the University of Virginia. Together, they examine the challenges to writing truth to power, the out-sized power of government-orchestrated fear, and the paradox of freedom in America.
Hear from Thomas Jefferson, the real founder of this country – and what he may have confided in agony to the young Edgar Allan Poe on an eerie July night in 1826. Based on historical fact, Monticello is a fictional examination of what happened next when the country’s founding father and architect of our freedom realizes that the whole republican experiment – America, our country – has turned out to be a mistake.