Ben Franklin: History You Can Talk To

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Ben Franklin





February 13, 2013:

"The room was full, and we were amazed at the turnout as well as the enthusiasm of the audience. G.Robin's performance as Benjamin Franklin was remarkable, keeping even the younger children interested."

Matt McDaniel, President
Board of Directors, Skagit Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

Read the full recommendation here! (pdf file)

Hi GregRobin!
Everyone is STILL talking about you and your show!  It was great.  ... thank you again for a job well done.

Alexandra Clark, NAC
Recreation Manager

Dear Ben (a.k.a. Robin),

        Judy and I thoroughly enjoyed your Chautauqua at the Womens University Club last night. Your [autobiography] was in my fathers extensive private library, and I read it with great pleasure when I was about 10 years old. I shall enjoy and benefit even more by rereading it now that I am almost 80.

        Bless you for your talents as a teacher, actor and historian, as well as for your many accomplishments in the 18th C. It was informative and fun to hear you, a wonderful way to be enlightened.

        Best wishes, J. Donald Ostrow, Seattle.

Dr. Franklin brings you back in time to 18th century Colonial America with His delightful one-man performance. The audience listens as He takes you on a journey of his life through all the touch points. The depth of his feelings and impressions surface as He answers audience questions after his performance. Dr. Franklin/Robin Smith has a firm grasp on the life of this very pivotally important founding father. I enjoyed the time travel and the opportunity to converse with this great man.
- Jeff Gelgisser, Horizon School

Dr. Benjamin Franklin was honored today at the Rainier Chapter house in Seattle, the oldest chapter of NSDAR in Washington state. Students from Seattle's Washington Middle school and Shoreline's Room Nine Community School were treated to a personal visit from the great Man… The event was a culmination of the National Society of the Daughter's of the American Revolution annual American History Essay contest. Robin Smith's one-man portrayal of the great man was magical. The student's hard earned knowledge of this historical figure was rewarded with a question and answer period with the great Dr. Franklin. I loved the transformation the students experienced as they asked their sincere questions pertaining to topics ranging from Lightening to Abolitionism. These very lucky students traveled back to 18th century America for an afternoon Tea in a historic building with a historic figure.
- Daughters of the American Revolution, Washington Chapter

What a performance! We were delightfully entertained and equally impressed with the centuries of history shared. We plan to bring our nieces and nephews next time!
- Lynda and Stan Boyle

Dear Robin, We enjoyed your thoughtful, well-researched portrayal of Franklin very much. It was a total success. We also enjoyed visiting with you-as a person.  I wish you much success,
- Bettye Cook, Program Specialist, Layland Museum, Cleburne Texas

Robert Herold – Head Teacher – Northstar Alt. Jr. High. Kirkland Washington
There was magic afoot at our school when Ben Franklin made his appearance! Through the talents of GregRobin Smith, Franklin was made real -- not only his genius, but his flaws. As such, Franklin was seen as a remarkable human being and not a two-dimensional figure. This was an outstanding and enriching performance and would be suitable for grades 4--12. Please do not hesitate to contact me for a personal reference: Robert Herold, Head Teacher & Social Studies Chair, Northstar Junior High

From Horizon School – Shoreline Washington

"Dear Robin,
Your performance was really fabulous! I have heard nothing but rave
reviews from people. My students really loved it and had all types of
comments and questions, not only to you that night, but to me the next
day. Thank you again so much! Your performance was really appreciated!
Nancy King


G. Robin Smith was fabulous and truly believable as Benjamin Franklin.
The audience was particularly enthusiastic about how he fielded
questions in character and "in period" historically. As a teacher, I
watched my own students (4th and 5th graders) eagerly coming up with
some really good questions and lingering after the performance to talk
to him and ask more. It really made history come alive for them! I
saw the results in their questions and enthusiasm the next day in
school. The class has decided after watching the performance to each
choose a person in history, read and research that person, and, in
costume and in first person, present their famous "selves" to the
class as a project and are very enthusiastic! He provided a perfect
"jumping off" step for this project and truly brought my American
history unit on Colonial America to life. I highly recommend his
performance as an assembly or, as we did, as a fundraiser in the

Nancy King, Horizon School

From the Snohomish Washington Library (pronounced snow – HOME – ish)
"Thank you so much for your exceptional presentation of Ben Franklin @
the Snohomish Library tonight. Our audience was delighted with your
performance and the opportunity
to learn more about Ben Franklin and our country's history."
Rebecca L. Loney, Managing Librarian, Snohomish Library

From the North Bend Washington Library
"I have had many comments about how successful your "Ben Franklin, Live
and In-personated" program was.

It is sometimes hard for our North Bend Library to present a program
that reaches students and adults as well. I felt you did a great job
of speaking to all ages. I would gladly recommend your program to the other libraries in our
system..." Thank you again for bringing this rich program to our community.

Lois Hartwig
Asst. Managing Librarian
North Bend and Snoqualmie Libraries

From: Don Bangert
Date: Apr 26, 2006 8:38 AM
Subject: Fw: [Current Observations] An Evening With Dr. Franklin

The junta began at 7p.m. and lasted for about an hour. Dr. Franklin
regaled us with his various adventures growing up in and around
Boston." "I wish, however, to impress
upon you the importance of seeking to meet with Dr. Franklin at one of
his local juntas. Trust me... It will be well worth your time and
energy. He is engaging, enlightening, as well as entertaining. I
especially enjoyed the generous question and answer period. Opening
the floor up to questions from the audience, he answered in a way that
only Benjamin Franklin could. Also, if you're a organizer for a
community group, school, church or fundraiser, this is an excellent
presentation for your event.

In closing, I wanted to personally thank the man behind the costume:
G. Robin Smith. It's never easy standing before a room of complete
strangers, let alone opening yourself up to their questions. You've
taken the time to research Benjamin Franklin and it shows in your
conversations. Again, Mr. Smith, thank you!
Posted by Don Bangert to Current Observations