Off-Broadway's Working Theater has partnered with Maryland's Round House Theatre, Utah's Salt Lake Acting Company, California's Marin Theatre Company, Connecticut's HartBeat Ensemble, The Bushnell, and UConn’s Thomas J. Dodd Center, Arizona State University Gammage, and Texas Performing Arts on a virtual presentation of Leila Buck's American Dreams.
Working Theater Co-Artistic Director and Hadestown Associate Director Tamilla Woodard helms the piece, which will be live streamed as an interactive event October 20–November 15.
American Dreams was originally created and developed by Buck and Woodard in collaboration with Jens Rasmussen and devised with Rasmussen, Osh Ghanimah, and Imran Sheikh. The cast features Buck, Andre Ali Andre, India Nicole Burton, Rasmussen, Sheikh, and Andrew Valdez. It imagines a world where the only way to gain U.S. citizenship is by competing in a TV game show run by the government.
Audience members determine who will win instant citizenship. The production uses voting, polling, trivia, and more to explore what it means to be a citizen and how we choose our neighbors.
The production features video design by Katherine Freer, virtual performance design by ViDCo, lighting by Stacey Derosier, sound by Sam Kusnetz, costumes by Kerry McCarthy, and scenic design by Ryan Patterson. Colleen McCaughey is the production stage manager, Lory Henning is the production manager, and Amanda Cooper is the consulting producer.
"American Dreams is a play that needs to happen now as we are approaching an election,” says Working Theater Co-Artistic Director Mark Plesent. “I think that the American Experiment is failing on so many levels. American Dreams offers us a safe opportunity, full of humor, to experience our individual complicity in the dangers facing our nation, and also points to ways to change course, beginning with ourselves.”
“Though our theatre buildings may be closed, the need to gather around provocative storytelling is still present,” adds Woodard. “With this unique partnership we get to do something we most certainly wouldn't have been able to do before—create a national collaboration with nine institutions and theatres across the country to activate audiences in local conversations about immigrants rights, the power of the vote, and what it means to be a citizen.”
For tickets and more information, visit AmericanDreamsPlay.com.