Ian Ruskin performs one-man play based on Thomas Paine

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Rosaura Montes

Trained actor from the London at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Ian Ruskin, performing his one-man play “To Begin the World Over Again: The Life of Thomas Paine.” Ruskin performed at the Teleconference Center on Oct. 10.

Sarah Niemann

The English actor Ian Ruskin brought the life of Thomas Paine to a packed audience in the Teleconference Center at Cerritos College on Oct. 10.

Ruskin, 61, performed this one-man play “To Begin the World Over Again: The Life of Thomas Paine” eight or nine times previously to bringing his act to Cerritos College.

It took a year for him to complete the research the play with the help of five scholars and he continues to tweak the script.

“I had to have facts correct…On another level you have to write a piece that is human and people can connect to, ” he said.

Ruskin tries to perform at universities and community colleges to help spread the knowledge of Thomas Paine by telling his story and was invited to Cerritos College by Professor Julie Davis

“I really liked what he said. He was a man with highs and lows in his life and as a writer you have to have those. And I really think he is one of the most misunderstood men in American history,” Ruskin said about Paine.

“Everyone says he is a filthy atheist but he was never an atheist he was a deist (not a believer in organized religion).”

The one-man play lasts about an hour and starts after Paine’s first wife dies and ends with his death.

It explains the trials and tribulations he came across as a journalist and a writer fighting for what he felt was for the good of the general population and all of the friends he lost along the way.

Austin Garrieo, psychology major said, “I thought it was awesome. I liked it a lot because he (Paine) talked about equality and that still applies to today’s society.”

As an actor Ruskin has appeared on shows like Murder, She Wrote and MacGyver and he continues to do voice over work.

If you didn’t get to see the act in person you can watch Ruskin’s YouTube videos at www.youtube.com/thelifeofthomaspaine.