This 4th of July, you may see Thomas Jefferson chatting it up with fellow citizens

それ “トーマス・ジェファーソン” is actually Steve Edenbo — a man who has dedicated his professional career for more than 20 years to impersonating Jefferson and sharing the third president’s ideas and philosophies with the current generation.

I am definitely working on the 4th!” he told Fox News Digital about this Independence Day weekend.


Just ahead of the holiday, Fox News Digital spoke to Edenbo, who lives in Philadelphia (はい, he’ll be quite busy this weekend) to ask him what it’s like to portray Jefferson as a character — and what the wisdom of our nation’s third president offers us today.

フォックスニュースデジタル: Tell us what you’re doing this 4th of July weekend?

Steve Edenbo: American Historical Theatre is again bringing the Founders to the U.S. National Archives for their public 4th of July festivities, which include a public reading ceremony on the Constitution Avenue side of the Archives.

This is our first time back since COVID shut down all public performances in 2020, and we’re thrilled. It will be my 22nd 独立記念日 with the National Archives.

American Historical Theatre has been working with the Archives on this event since before I started in 1999 — but I’m not sure when that partnership started. At this point it’s at least a quarter-century.

フォックスニュースデジタル: Why did you choose this as a career?

Steve Edenbo: When I started doing this almost 23 数年前, I quickly found that I loved all the parts of it. This job is a mixture of study, scholarship, 書き込み, 教える, 演技, traveling — I love to travel! ­— and inspiring people, あまりにも. I fell in love with my work early on.


When you take on these prominent figures, you must have some connection with them. You find parts of yourself within the characters, like actors do.

You’re also in constant conversation with that figure, which I have found to be stimulating, ever-challenging and sometimes frustrating. The further you get into the forest, the bigger the trees — it becomes more complicated.

Our actual third president, トーマス・ジェファーソン, in an official presidential portrait (by Rembrandt Peale, 12月. 31, 1799).

Our actual third president, トーマス・ジェファーソン, in an official presidential portrait (by Rembrandt Peale, 12月. 31, 1799). (Public Domain)

Jefferson is in the middle of all the big issues [in our country] in a way that no other Founder is — and while that’s a challenge, it’s also what makes this work interesting and makes Jefferson, for better and for worse, still very relevant.

フォックスニュースデジタル: Tell us how you got your start in this work.

Edenbo: I attended Dickinson College [in Carlisle, ペンシルベニア] as an English major and took some acting courses there. I moved to Philadelphia to pursue acting and got involved with Philadelphia’s American Historical Theatre.

A key person there saw my physical resemblance to Jefferson — and then learned that I am an avid reader and writer. A “[object Window]” was needed for conferences and conventions. I fell in love with the whole thing.

I am now on the board of the American Historical Theatre, trying to give back — they gave me my start. We tell a wide array of stories of historical figures, and if you’re approaching history through every means available, this is yet another way in.

フォックスニュースデジタル: Give us an idea of the types of gigs you have.

Edenbo: All kinds, from leadership conferences for Fortune 500s to debating on stage.

I work with the FBI twice a year, which goes into mymost challenging” カテゴリー. I started doing leadership conferences for them about five years ago, as well as seminars for police chiefs from around the country and the world.

If you tell 8th graders why they’re supposed to care — you lose them. You must figure out what matters to them; then you connect history to that.