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    One-man show presents ‘Teddy’ Roosevelt

    One-man show presents Teddy Roosevelt

    By Janai Cunningham

    President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt came back from the grave to visit history students at Prince George High School on Wednesday, February 16th, and Thursday, February 17th. For two days Joe Wiegand educated students about the 26th president’s life by performing his one-man show as the President.

    President Roosevelt (Wiegand) spoke for an hour to each group, telling stories and recounting memories of his days as President, Rough Rider, and family man. At the conclusion of each speech, he encouraged students to ask questions and enter into a dialogue.

    Wiegand does not break character at any time during his show. The only opportunity to speak to this historical actor comes when you ask President Roosevelt to beckon Wiegand. With a quick turn of his body, the historical figure in front of you becomes Joe Wiegand.

    He told the students that sharing his knowledge of history is very important to him.

    “I’m doing what I’m doing because it’s what I love to do,” Wiegand said. “It was really a character that spoke to me, and I was inspired by Teddy’s story. I decided to dedicate my life to learning his story.”

    US History teacher Polly Williamson sought out Wiegand to perform for her students as part of her unit on the Progressive Era. Once she found the actor, she decided to share this opportunity with any class that wished to witness this event. The performance was also recorded and broadcasted to J.E.J. Moore Middle School and N.B. Clements Jr. High.

    As an actor, Wiegand has performed his show in New York City and also for the White House.

    Wiegand has a clear connection with Roosevelt that spans more than just his appearance. He says that he shares some of his personality too.

    “I too seem to have problems skipping a good fight, if it’s for a good cause,” Wiegand said.

    Wiegand, a former politician himself who spent much of his time away from home, believes that his decision to act in his one-man show came down to a similar belief Roosevelt held. The most important aspect of his life is his family and the opportunity to be a part of his daughter’s life.

    For more information about Joe Wiegand’s one-man show visit his web page at

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    • L

      Lucas BaileyMar 11, 2011 at 8:22 pm

      The work Wiegand has put into his research of Teddy Roosevelt must be extensive. It must take true dedication and passion to do what he does so well. He really made learning about history fun and entertaining.

    • J

      Jessica TaylorMar 10, 2011 at 7:08 pm

      I thought this guy did a very good job. Not only was he very convincing, but he also made history more fun to learn. I am not a huge fan of history, but he managed to keep my attention and I actually remembered what he said which came in handy today when I wrote an essay on him.

    • C

      Carrie YoungMar 10, 2011 at 3:33 pm

      It was really neat to see this guy take on the life of Roosevelt. It must take a lot of dedication and practice to master the accent and to remember all of his stories he told to his several audiences.

    • D

      Diana O.Mar 8, 2011 at 9:13 pm

      I actually saw this performance. At first I was confused because he was overwhelming me with facts but when it came to the question part he was a pro. He was very convincing because you could ask the most random question and he had a legit answer for each question.

    • H

      haley mathenyMar 6, 2011 at 6:35 pm

      His performance was very well put together. It was quite obvious he was doing something he truely enjoyed and was educated on.

    • T

      Tessa AllenMar 4, 2011 at 9:17 pm

      This man was not only an amazing actor but also a pretty amazing historian. Just think about the time and effort he must have put in to research this vast knowledge of TR’s life and then to be able to call it up at any moment? Simply amazing. I’m so glad we got to experience this.

    • M

      Malikah WilliamsMar 4, 2011 at 8:31 pm

      His show was fantastic. I really felt as if I was transported back into time and was really listening to TR. It was very informative as well as accurate.

    • L

      Laken AdamsMar 4, 2011 at 7:23 pm

      I loved his show! He was so knowledgeable about the life of Teddy Roosevelt. I learned way more about him by watching the performance than I have in any history class. He was so in character the whole time and every question that the group I went with asked, he had a well educated answer. I would definitely like to see more performances like this at school.

    • J

      Joseph PervallMar 4, 2011 at 6:56 pm

      Seeing Wiegand performing as President Teddy Roosevelt was an interesting experience. He really knew his stuff, and it was kind of cool to have him come out of character for a little. And I won’t lie, he had a pretty sweet ‘stache.

    • R

      Rachel ArnoldMar 4, 2011 at 6:44 pm

      I was fortunate enough to see Wiegand perform. He was really good. I kept waiting for him to slip up or accidentally fall out of character, but he didn’t at all. The whole presentation was very interesting and I learned a lot of new information about TR.

    • A

      Alex MartinezMar 4, 2011 at 4:55 pm

      Unfortunately I was only able to see the abbreviated version of his performance during fifth block. One thing that made me skeptical, though, was the way in which he raised the pitch of his voice when he was pretending to be Teddy Roosevelt; I doubt that the real Roosevelt actually did that to his voice when speaking in front of an audience.

    • J

      Jill FairchildMar 4, 2011 at 3:23 pm

      I’m jealous of the students who were able to watch his performance. I never saw him while he was visiting, but many students were talking about it for days afterword. He seemed to have quite an impact. His dedication is inspiring.

    • O

      Olivia TritschlerMar 4, 2011 at 8:25 am

      I really enjoyed this! It was very informative and I learned a lot about the 26th president. It also helped because I had a test on Roosevelt a few days after the presentation and it helped me with some of the things I was confused about. I wish there had been more time to ask some questions, but it was a great way to experience learning out of the normal class room setting.

    • T

      Trey CarterMar 3, 2011 at 8:25 pm

      He did an outstanding job impersonating Teddy Roosevelt. The fact that he not only knew all of the information about the life of the late president, he also was able to answer questions from “the president’s” point of view.

    • U

      Unique LarryMar 3, 2011 at 8:16 pm

      His performance was great! He is extremely dedicated, and portrayed teddy so well. It’s awesome that he is getting people interested in history in his own way.(Even if Teddy has to “come back from the grave.”)

    • R

      Raya GirardMar 3, 2011 at 6:58 pm

      What a wonderful way to make history come alive. When we went to the Edgar Allen Poe museum we saw an actor portray Poe. it was an exciting way to Learn about a historical figure. It would be a good opportunity to ask questions about a certain time or era.

    • R

      rachel waymackMar 3, 2011 at 6:21 pm

      Not only was his presentation very convincing and obviously well practiced, it also made learning about Theodore Roosevelt more interesting and easier to remember. I think the school should try to continue to have occasional educational speakers like this, it’s a way to get students more interested in history.

    • J

      Jamar JohnsonMar 3, 2011 at 7:37 am

      This guy was really amazing. When I saw him, he did indeed come out of character when asked about his opinion on marijuana. My teacher, Mr. Britt, was trying to catch Teddy in a fault but could not.This just shows that this imposter knew Teddy’s life like the back of his hand.

    • H

      Haseena Abdur-RahmanFeb 27, 2011 at 4:04 pm

      I actaully saw this performance and he really convinced me that he was president Roosevelt. Any question you had about Roosevelt’s life he knew the answer, in addition to staying in character.