FOURTEEN at the National Constitution Center

19 Jun - 10 Aug 2019
National Constitution Center, 525 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106


Reconstruction and the Fourteenth Amendment Project workshop, Brandon Pierce reads the words of Frederick Douglass from a letter to Thomas Auld, his former master, 1848. Photo by Daniel Kontz.

The National Constitution Center presents FOURTEEN, a theatrical performance that sheds new light on the Reconstruction era and the ratification of the 14th Amendment. Through dramatic interpretation of original texts, such as Frederick Douglass’ open letter “To My Old Master,” the 30-minute performance brings to life the leaders, influential figures, and everyday Americans who were central to the era. Designed to complement the Constitution Center’s forthcoming permanent exhibit and gallery devoted to the constitutional legacy of the Civil War, the theater work will enhance visitors’ understanding of key constitutional texts and draw connections to themes of freedom, equality, and citizenship that remain relevant today. 

After opening June 19, FOURTEEN will run two times a day June 20 – June 26 and will run four times a day June 27 – August 10; free with general admission to the National Constitution Center.

As visitors explore Civil War and Reconstruction, they will encounter a short, theatrical performance in the 14th Amendment section of the exhibit highlighting Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, a key African-American figure from the Reconstruction era. The gallery theater piece will run two times an hour Mondays through Saturdays, May 9 through Memorial Day Weekend 2019, and be available on select dates throughout fall of 2019 and in February 2020.