By Aaron Posner
“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.”
Provocative, humorous, delightful, haunting and powerfully personal, JQA (John Quincy Adams) by award-winning playwright Aaron Posner, chronicles a man’s 70-year personal, familial, and political struggles. Posner (Stupid F**king Bird, Cyrano, and Life Sucks) uses innovative casting and interwoven storytelling to help JQA separate itself from other stories about once-powerful white men throughout history. Told by four different actors of diverse ethnicities, genders, and ages, JQA weaves a story that is compelling, equitable, and incredibly diverse.
On the heels of his father, JQA always knew he needed to be at least as large as the President of the United States. The conviction to lead, in and out of office, has complex implications on his family, the abolitionist movement, other members of Congress, and himself. As he wrestles with the ideal of being good, JQA finds himself in a lifelong struggle with himself, the famous politicians of the time, and his family. How will he overcome the stigmas of softness towards slaves and natives? How will he understand the role he plays in his government and the role it plays for him? On his path will he learn to govern his own life? It was never meant to be easy.
The New York Times Critics Pick, October 2020
Through “a series of fictitious encounters between John Quincy Adams and sundry family members and political associates on the subjects of life, liberty and the pursuit of a more rational relationship with government,” Aaron Posner’s play JQA challenges audiences to examine the definition of government and prompt discussion about what governments should do for their citizens today.