The Democracy Project

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The Democracy Project

Six celebrated playwrights take us back to America’s beginnings in this original play written for and about New York's historic Federal Hall

By Federal Hall Conservancy

When and where

Date and time

June 22 · 2pm - July 22 · 7pm EDT


Federal Hall 15 Pine Street New York, NY 10005

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About this event

The Democracy Project is a journey through the first of the 527 momentous days when New York City was the first capital of the revolutionary United States government. The presidency was new, the slave trade was in debate, and the Constitution — and the rights of all this land's inhabitants — hung in the balance.

George Washington struggles to define his presidency; James Madison presents the Bill of Rights; Muscogee (Creek) Chief Alexander McGillivray maneuvers to preserve his nation’s land by signing the first international treaty with the United States; and Ona Judge, a woman enslaved by Martha Washington, sees through the Quaker petitions to end the slave trade.

Featuring original songs, The Democracy Project follows a modern-day narrator through the history of Federal Hall on Wall Street, probing the choices of our Founders and how their actions still reverberate through America, many years after “We the People.”

Directed by Tamilla Woodard (Weightless; Chair, Acting Program, Yale’s David Geffen School of Drama) and Tai Thompson (Dark Star from Harlem), The Democracy Project begins performances on Thursday June 22 at Federal Hall. All performances are free and open to the public.

The Democracy Project is written by WGA Award winner Tanya Barfield (Hulu’s “Mrs. America”); Pulitzer Prize finalist Lisa D’Amour (Detroit); MacArthur Genius Grant recipient Larissa FastHorse (The Thanksgiving Play); Obie Award winner Melissa James Gibson (“House of Cards”); Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winner Michael R. Jackson (A Strange Loop); and Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winner Bruce Norris (Clybourne Park).

The cast of The Democracy Project includes Kate Hamill (Sense and Sensibility), Jake Hart (Jesus Hopped The A Train), Nathan Hinton (Where The Mountain Meets the Sea), Tom Nelis (Girl From the North Country), and Tatiana Williams (Confederates).

The Democracy Project features scenic and costume design by Deb O, lighting design by Lucrecia Briceno, and sound design by Mark Van Hare.

The production team includes Production Stage Manager E. Sara Barnes; Assistant Stage Manager Julie Gottfried; Music Direction by Sean Cameron; Casting by Calleri Jensen Davis; Associate General Manager Greg Kamp; and General Manager Joey Monda.

The Democracy Project is produced by Federal Hall Conservancy (Tonio Burgos, Chairman; Marie Salerno, Founding President) and Lynn Goldner, in partnership with Federal Hall National Memorial (Shirley McKinney, Superintendent Manhattan Sites). Adam Greenfield (Artistic Director, Playwrights Horizons) is the script consultant. Major funding was received from the Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and the National Park Service.

About the organizer

Federal Hall Conservancy, in partnership with the National Park Service, is transforming Federal Hall National Memorial and seeking funding to support its restoration, activation, and operations for America’s 250th birthday on July 4, 2026.  The organization is a 501 (c) 3, headquartered on the historic site, where American government was established in 1789.