Ian Ruskin becomes one with Thomas Paine at Castle Green
By André Coleman 08/21/2013
The Thomas Paine society presents the one-man play “To Begin the World Again: The Life of Thomas Paine” from 3 to 6 p.m. Sunday at Castle Green.
In the play Paine, played by Ian Ruskin, comes out of the shadows to tell his story and set the record straight on his life and his political philosophies.
“The play is very much about him, the man,” Ruskin told the Pasadena Weekly. “It is not just a history lesson.”
Ruskin said was inspired to write the play after he was introduced to the works of Paine, a founding father, by several people and was amazed at how misunderstood he is today, yet is somehow revered by Democrats, Republicans, moderates and some in the tea party.
“He is revered, but he was calling for what we know today as veterans’ benefits, unemployment benefits, social security and welfare. He called these things ‘rights,’” Ruskin said.
According to Rustin, Paine had not accomplished much in his life when he came from England to Philadelphia, but that would soon change. Paine wrote two pamphlets “Common Sense” and the “American Crisis,” which encouraged Americans to fight for their independence from England.
According to UShistory.org, “American Crisis” was so popular that on a percentage basis, it was read by or read to more people than today watch the Super Bowl.
“He led an extraordinary life,” Ruskin said. “He came to Philadelphia with nothing, and then he changed the world. He basically started the American Revolution. His impact on the world was enormous, and then he died largely forgotten.”
Tickets are $20 ($15 for Thomas Paine Society and Center for Inquiry members, students and seniors.) All tickets are at will call at the Castle Green, 99 S. Raymond Ave., Old Pasadena. For more information, call (626) 796-4529.