Comedy/Drama. By Laura Annawyn Shamas.
Cast: 7m., 5w. Six teenagers find their lives are impacted by an intrepid summer school "intensity" touring program centered around key points and places in Abraham Lincoln's life. The action ranges from travelogue to ghost story to the formation of meaningful friendships. The students actively document their trip throughout with pod casts, texting, phone calls and photos. Dr. Thomas, a female history professor, leads the group on a whirlwind two-week site-specific tour which explores landmarks in Hodgenville, Kentucky (Lincoln's birthplace); Lincoln's boyhood home in Indiana; various Lincoln sites in Springfield, Illinois; and finally, the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. The teenagers come from different backgrounds and interests. On Day One, half of them resent having to take the 14-day van trip. For Mark, the journey comes at an especially emotional juncture in his home life. Sarah says she doesn't want to be bored and away from her friends, but she hides her true emotional state. Ginger doesn't understand why she didn't get to go on the 16-day Winston Churchill tour in England, like one of her friends did. John worries about missing training with the team. Poetic Nancy can hardly say a word at the beginning of the trip. Only studious Lily is happy about it all—and she knows that irritates the others. Their adventures are soon populated with strange "Lincoln pilgrims," little-known facts about Lincoln's life and memorabilia, and pod casts which capture the voices of 19th-century ghosts (or do they?). The visit to Lincoln's tomb in Springfield proves to be a turning point in the group dynamic, as Sarah finds that she's unable to go inside and asks to leave the tour. Lincoln Vacation thematically explores the relevance of history to our everyday lives while at the same time honoring the life and achievements of the 16th president of the United States. By the end of the trip, the students meet individual scholastic and personal challenges. They meld as a caring group of travelers, and their journey ends near the reflective pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. Area staging, multiple locations. Approximate running time: 45 minutes.