A videotape version of a Davis County production dramatizing issues raised during the drafting of the U.S. Constitution may become part of social studies curricula throughout the nation.
The 53-minute production, "Two Good and Noble Men," is being considered by the U.S. Commission on the Bicentennial of the Constitution for distribution to school districts throughout the nation, said John Harmer, chairman of the Davis County Committee on the Bicentennial of the Constitution.The production is also being considered for airing by the Public Broadcasting System, he said.
The play version, a project of the county committee, was presented to local audiences last year and starred Gordon Jump as Benjamin Franklin and Salt Lake actor Michael Bennett as Patrick Henry. The two men debate the Constitution in the production.
Although the debate never occurred, it presents federalist and anti-federalist arguments key to understanding the Constitution. The production was videotaped by a Brigham Young University production team.
The video is one of the first attempts to articulate the issues that divided constitutional framers, Harmer said.
The county committee has submitted a grant application for $70,000 to distribute the videotape to all school districts in the nation with a high school. The U.S. Commission has placed the application on hold until the county committee can produce a teacher's guide for the video.
The county committee is seeking corporate donations to help Davis County school teachers produce the guide.