Who Should Sit At The Table?

Another sick day. Sigh. This morning in the shower I was thinking more about “Meeting of Minds” and the recent theatrical revival. Dan Lauria of Working Stage indicated they are going to have modern playwrites develop new episodes, and so I was thinking about who should sit at the table. You want people that would have a good intellection discussion and not agree on everything. You would like them to be able to discuss a wide variety of topics. You want people whom we know enough about so as to (ahem) put words in their mouth. They can’t be currently living. They can’t have been at the table before. One country shouldn’t dominate. Lastly, per convention, there should be at least one woman’s role in each episode.

For example, the first name that came to my head was Theodor Hertz, the founder of Zionism. Who would be good to sit with him? More on this later.

To give you an idea, here are some of the pairings that Steve Allen did:

Pres. Theodore Roosevelt / Queen Cleopatra / Father Thomas Aquinas / Thomas Paine
Pres. Ulysses S. Grant / Queen Marie Antoinette / Sir Thomas More / Dr. Karl Marx
Charles Darwin / Emily Dickinson / Galileo Galilei / Attila the Hun
Frederick Douglass / Empress Tz’u-hsi / Cesare Beccaria / Marquis de Sade
Martin Luther / Voltaire / Plato / Florence Nightingale
Sir Francis Bacon / Socrates / Emiliano Zapata / Susan B. Anthony
St. Augustine of Hippo / Empress Theodora / Thomas Jefferson / Bertrand Russell
Aristotle / Niccolo Machiavelli / Elizabeth Barrett Browning / Sun Yat-Sen
Margaret Sanger / Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi / Adam Smith
Niccolo Paganini / William Blake / Leonardo da Vinci
Daniel O’Connell / Oliver Cromwell / Catherine the Great

So, for example, who should sit at the table with Steve Allen and Theodor Hertzl? I came up with The Prophet Muhammad, Harriet Tubman, Henry David Thoreau. Could be an interseting discussion about national struggles, the role of oppression, and the role of peace. But who would you have at this table?

Here are some other names that should appear at a table somewhere, and I’m sure you’ll think of more. How would you arrange the tables? President Franklin Roosevelt, Adolph Hitler, Winston Churchill, Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Sojourner Truth, King Henry VIII, Christopher Columbus, Queen Isabella of Spain, Mao Zedong, Woodrow Wilson, … well, you get the idea.

So who should sit at the table?