Founders, Keepers

The nation is in crisis. Washington DC is burning and the government has assembled five 5th grade girls to rewrite the Constitution of the United States. Friendships form and break as these young women struggle with grief, power, and what it means to grow up in a broken democracy. Full script is available by request, just shoot me an email at aurorabehlke@gmail.com.
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Founders, Keepers

Recommended by

  • Emily Elyse Everett:
    15 Jul. 2023
    A piece that captures the grandeur of American political decline and the intimacy of contemporary girlhood, Founders, Keepers shows Behlke's attention to detailed, nuanced, characters, laugh-out-loud, unexpected comedy, and caring attention to contemporary society that left me thinking about this play for hours. An honest, raw, and somehow also empathetic perspective on what it means to be a young person in America today.
  • Sam Heyman:
    27 Jun. 2023
    "Founders, Keepers" is an exceptionally moving piece of work that explores its darkly comic premise with the humanity it deserves. Aurora Behlke's young characters navigate friendship, puberty, dreams, death, and what may prove to be the end of one country and the beginning of another - these girls have so much to say, and they don't always know how to say it, but they are trying their best with what they have. Frequently hilarious, even amidst heartbreak, "Founders, Keepers" deserves to be seen by audiences everywhere.
  • Jillian Blevins:
    27 Jun. 2023
    In the past several years, we’ve seen many excellent plays about adolescent girlhood; FOUNDERS, KEEPERS stands out amid the pack in its portrayal of tween girls rewriting the US constitution as the country burns. Exceptionally funny, tender-hearted, truthful and prescient, Aurora Behlke’s political allegory hits so many unexpectedly perfect notes. Her premise reminds us that America is a young country, that words are meaningless without action, and that nothing lasts forever. Our nation’s own painful adolescence may be just beginning, but with writers like Behlke making themselves heard, the kids may just be all right.

Character Information

  • Winnie
    11,
    Female
    BRACES. Has a lot to say but isn’t sure how to say it. Unapologetic when she can afford to be. Favorite animal: she is connected to horses on a spiritual level but is NOT a horse girl.
  • Tabitha
    12 1/2,
    Female
    Prettiest. An unreliable voice of reason with serious confidence issues. She clings onto her friends for dear life. Favorite animal: dolphins and sharks.
  • Gillian
    12,
    Female
    Has probably read Harry Potter 5 times. Hides her weirdness in order to stay “popular”. Favorite animal: foxes.
  • Nicole
    11,
    Female
    Class clown. Powerful, but extremely insecure. Favorite animal: tigers and other big cats.
  • Imogen
    10,
    Female
    Wears the same cardigan every day. Hasn’t washed her hair today. Always tense because she carries a lot of grief in her little body. Favorite animal: betta fish.
  • Woman
    Old,
    Female
    Favorite animal: Animals are messy.
    played by the same actor playing Mysterious Woman.
  • Mysterious woman
    Come on, not THAT old,
    Female
    She hasn’t lost her love of sea creatures.
    Played by the same actor playing Woman.

Development History

  • Reading
    ,
    Valdez Theatre Conference
    ,
    2023
  • Reading
    ,
    Webster Conservatory
    ,
    2021

Production History

  • University
    ,
    University of St. Andrews
    ,
    2024
  • Community Theater
    ,
    Young Americans Theatre Company
    ,
    2022
  • Professional
    ,
    Echo Theatre, Dallas, TX
    ,
    2022

Awards

Semi-Finalist
,
Lanford Wilson New American Play Festival
,
2022
Winner
,
Big Shout Out 3
,
Echo Theatre
,
2022
Finalist
,
Spotlight on Women Writing
,
Prism Theatre Co.
,
2021