Aurora Theater Works - Monticello

$2,045 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 14 people in 16 months
August 3rd through August 27th
St. Bonaventure Oratory
1625 Diversey Parkway, Chicago

Buy tickets now!

Monticello: A Play in Two Acts is written and produced by writer, labor lawyer and progressive activist Thomas Geoghegan. Please consider donating to his newest project.

Tom writes…

Friends, theatre lovers, patriots and history buffs,

I wrote a play about a meeting that might have occurred between Thomas Jefferson and Edgar Allan Poe. And I need your help in making it a success. We hope to raise $10,000 to offset costs of production. Any amount you can contribute would be much appreciated. And of course, I encourage you to come see the play when it goes live in August.

Why this play - now?

To me, it's a chance to let Jefferson be Jefferson - who once and still does give voice to "The Resistance," not just in the Declaration but in his battle with royalists and the Hamilton party throughout his life.

The play - fictional, indeed, at times a comedy - has a premise in historical fact. Jefferson used to invite students from the University of Virginia to dine with him at Monticello. In 1826, the last year of his life, Edgar Allan Poe enrolled as a student and may have gone up to dine at Monticello. In this play Jefferson is in debt, Monticello is at risk, and Jefferson confronts a grim choice: get a loan from the General Assembly if he placates the slaveholders that he did not mean the Declaration to apply to slaves, or give up the loan and use the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration to denounce the evil institution on which the state and his household depends.

Daughter Martha Jefferson enlists the gifted young Poe on the occasion of his visit to help her father draft a statement for July 4, 1826 that will mollify everyone. And in the course of the play the young Poe learns that Monticello itself is a kind of House of Usher.

Why donate to a play - now?

It’s not a cheap proposition to put on a play, and I doubt any theatre company would take a chance on an odd topic written by a person like me. We’ll be selling tickets to the show, but I’m keeping the ticket price low ($20!) to keep it accessible to as many people as possible. As a result, I really need help from you to make this production come to life.

As I wrote this play I thought: Poor Jefferson could have used GoFundMe back in 1826. Since he can't do it to save his Monticello, I hope you will do it to help save mine.


Thomas Geoghegan
+ Read More

$2,045 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 14 people in 16 months
Your share could be bringing in donations. Sign in to track your impact.
We will never post without your permission.
In the future, we'll let you know if your sharing brings in any donations.
We weren't able to connect your Facebook account. Please try again later.
Donna Schatt
15 months ago
Susan Valentine
15 months ago
Aaron Datesman
15 months ago
Mike Budd
15 months ago
Craig Williams
16 months ago
Shirley Anderson
16 months ago
Peter Tran
16 months ago
Tony Judge
16 months ago
Jim McNeill
16 months ago
Maureen McGurl
16 months ago
Use My Email Address
By continuing, you agree with the GoFundMe
terms and privacy policy
There's an issue with this Campaign Organizer's account. Our team has contacted them with the solution! Please ask them to sign in to GoFundMe and check their account. Return to Campaign

Are you ready for the next step?
Even a $5 donation can help!
Donate Now Not now
Connect on Facebook to keep track of how many donations your share brings.
We will never post on Facebook without your permission.