Commissioned by The John Marshall Foundation, The King of Crimes is a long one-act play about the trial of Thomas Jefferson’s first vice president – and the man who famously shot Alexander Hamilton in a duel – Aaron Burr. Burr was a charismatic figure who, denied power by Jefferson and on the run following his killing of Hamilton, set out to carve for himself a kingdom in an already fractured America. His scheme was to set himself as emperor, in the same fashion as Napoleon had done in France, either in the Spanish holdings of the Floridas, in the great swaths of barely settled lands of the Louisiana Purchase and the Orleans territory, or even by sparking a war with Mexico. Burr was captured before his plans could be fully put into effect. Thomas Jefferson became adamant seeing Burr hang for treason. This sparked one of the first and greatest constitutional crises in our young America’s history, and only John Marshall, the great Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, stood between the president and Burr, and between Burr and a noose.
The play is a long one-act, written for theater-in-the-round or a thrust staging. Audiences range from high school students to adults. The cast of six play multiple roles, and the play is designed to be suitable for travel.