Students channeled America’s Founding Fathers Monday to celebrate Constitution Day – a congressionally mandated holiday for all schools receiving federal money.
As the Founding Fathers and U.S. Supreme Court justices, the actors from the Student Theatre Council reenacted pivotal court cases and the signing of the Constitution in the first performance at the new black box theater in West Hall.
University Marshal Jill Kasle introduced the play, explaining that Congress mandates that all schools that receive federal funding must celebrate Constitution Day-a contradiction to the document that forbids the government from making such directives.
“We are pleased to welcome you to this very ironic celebration of Constitution Day,” Kasle said, drawing laughter from the audience.
Kasle dedicated the performance to GW students studying constitutional law and to the late West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd, a GW alumnus, who was fundamental in the holiday’s creation.
Dressed as the Founding Fathers, the actors discussed the “necessary and proper” clause and the Fourteenth Amendment.
Switching roles, the actors played out key U.S. Supreme Court cases including Bush v. Gore – the case that decided the outcome of the 2000 presidential election between George W. Bush and Al Gore. The actors expressed disapproval for the ruling, quoting then Associate Justice John Paul Stevens’ dissent in the case.
“The identity of the loser is perfectly clear,” said one of the actors, quoting Justice Stevens. “It is the nation’s confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law. I respectfully dissent.”
This article was updated on Sept. 23, 2010 to reflect the following changes:
Due to a reporting error, The Hatchet misrepresented which part of the 14th Amendment the actors described.