A number of  years ago a friend of mine was visiting from England. We travelled  to Washington D.C. to take in the sites. When we entered the Jefferson Memorial I was stunned by the words engraved, in giant block letters, around the inside of the rotunda: "I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man."  I bought a prints of the memorial’s engravings, framed them, and gave two to my brothers, keeping one to display on my wall at home. In Jefferson I had found a hero, and in his words and goals I had found a guide.

     That was before I had any idea that a career in First Person Historical Interpretation was a possibility. I had just earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Dickinson College in 1996, and I was living in Philadelphia trying to make it as an actor. For the next few years Jefferson remained a quiet, but palpable, presence in my life.
     At the time I felt that in order to pursue acting I had to give up, to some extent, my interest in research and writing. A change in perspective came to me in 1999, when I was working as a resident actor at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire.   It was there that a representative from the American Historical Theater observed my acting ability and my physical resemblance to Jefferson. AHT soon offered me my first opportunity to perform as Jefferson, and I quickly realized that I had found work that offered the perfect chance to simultaneously cultivate my passions for reading, writing, and theater. Perhaps more importantly, I had found a means of learning more about the man whose words had engraved themselves on my soul.
      Each year that I continue in this profession I find that the work grows more fulfilling. I am honored to carry on Jefferson’s legacy of freedom of thought and expression to modern Americans. By embracing Jefferson’s complexity, I find I can offer a unique perspective that encourages open discussion about some of the most challenging aspects of our nation’s history, while it rekindles in audiences the goals of equality and liberty that remain, as Abraham Lincoln put it, the "unfinished work" of all Americans.

For more information, or to schedule your event, please contact Steven Edenbo at
steve@yourthomasjefferson.com
or (215) 514-1927 .