Pinchot is a live professional, one act, one person play incorporating stereo sound and occasional video. The show runs one hour and is suited for meetings, conferences, seminars, academic institutions and public performances.
The story centers around Gifford Pinchot, America’s first forester and founder of the U.S. Forest Service, and his retelling of the beginnings of the conservation movement as he lived it. Born into great wealth, Pinchot used his family connections and love for the outdoors to shape the initial ideas of environmental conservation in this country. Ironically, many of those same issues and controversies still face the nation and world today.
Pinchot discusses his family, his first glimpse of practical forestry and his eventual training and immersion into the profession. He presents a portrait of the United States as it was at the end of the nineteenth century—unchecked forest destruction, monopolies that ruled the west, public indifference, and lack of any national resource direction. All of these presented formidable challenges for the young forester.
Pinchot recalls his night with John Muir on the rim of the Grand Canyon, his journeys into Yosemite and the Big Trees of California, and his eventual departure with Muir over “use” verses "preservation." From there the play explores Pinchot’s developing friendship with Theodore Roosevelt, his subsequent appointment as Chief Forester of the United States, the creation of the Forest Service, his eventual firing by President Taft, mentions his two terms as Governor of Pennsylvania, and concludes with a brief reading from his final book “Breaking New Ground”.
All of the production effects are automated, including music, sound effects and several recorded voices that speak to Pinchot throughout the play.