WORKING THEATER - Off Broadway’s DRAMA DESK and AU DELCO winning - presents new play 'AMERICAN DREAMS' for Six Weeks - LIVE! - ONLINE! -- Sept. 26 - Nov. 15
Last Edit: Official_Press_Release 12:56 pm EDT 09/14/20
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 12:54 pm EDT 09/14/20

in partnership with
Round House Theatre, Salt Lake Acting Company, Marin Theatre Company, HartBeat Ensemble, The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts and University of Connecticut's Thomas J. Dodd Center
Co-commissioned by ASU Gammage and Texas Performing Arts with support from the JKW Foundation

presents the national virtual co-production of


Written by Leila Buck
Directed by Tamilla Woodard

Performances LIVE!
Online for Six Weeks

Off Broadway's Working Theater leads unprecedented national partnership of nine theaters and cultural institutions to bring live interactive performance to audiences across the country

National Dates:
September 26: ASU Gammage
October 2-3: Texas Performing Arts
October 5-11: Round House Theatre
October 14-18: Salt Lake Acting Company
October 20-25: Working Theater
October 27-Nov 1: HartBeat Ensemble, The Bushnell and UCONN
November 10-15: Marin Theatre Company

Working Theater, a Drama Desk and AUDELCO award winning Off Broadway company,in partnership with Round House Theatre (Bethesda, MD), Salt Lake Acting Company (Salt Lake City, UT)), Marin Theatre Company (Mill Valley, CA), a consortium of cultural institutions representing greater Hartford lead by HartBeat Ensemble, The Bushnell and UConn's Thomas J. Dodd Center, (Hartford, CT) Arizona State University Gammage (Tempe, AZ) and Texas Performing Arts (Austin, TX) join forces to present a unique co-production-- leading the theater industry (and the 2020-2021 season) with the return of a full-scale production this fall-of American Dreams. Written by and featuring Leila Buck (Love Letter to Lebanon), American Dreams is directed by Working Theater's Co-Artistic Director Tamilla Woodard (Where We Stand, WP Theater, associate director, Hadestown on Broadway) and will be live-streamed as an interactive event.
American Dreams is a participatory performance that imagines a world where the only way to gain U.S. citizenship is by competing in a nationally-televised game show run by the government. Through America's most valued democratic process -- voting -- audience members decide who will win instant citizenship. Taking a page from America's favorite game shows, this playful interactive production uses voting, polling, trivia and more to explore what it means to be a citizen and how we choose our neighbors.
"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."

In a unique partnership with a cross section of leading theaters and cultural organizations, representing every region of the United States, the 2020 live interactive presentation of American Dreams follows a much celebrated and sold-out run at The Cleveland Public Theatre in 2018.

"Though our theater buildings may be closed, the need to gather around provocative storytelling is still present," says Tamilla Woodard, Co-Artistic Director of Working Theater. "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 theaters 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. The agility all of the producing partners are able to bring to this collaboration is truly remarkable. Their appetite for innovation and invention is inspiring. This is the power of theater that makes room for radical access, radical inclusion and a new model of collaboration."

"Round House was immediately excited to be part of a national tour of American Dreams because the show asks questions every person in America should have on their minds right now, especially as we approach the election. This partnership represents the best of what theatre can do to build collaboration, respond and adapt to the world around us, and foster meaningful conversations in our communities." Ryan Rilette, Artistic Director of Round House Theatre.

"Salt Lake Acting Company is honored to be a co-producer of American Dreams," said SLAC Executive Artistic Director Cynthia Fleming. "During this unprecedented time, we have been aching for an opportunity to bring exciting new theatrical works to our audiences, and this one-of-a-kind partnership with Working Theater, Round House, and others, speaks to the resilience of the artistic spirit and the power of collaboration."

The newly conceived digital production, developed and produced by Working Theater, features unique technical innovations that invite theater-going audiences to not only be part of the show, but to decide each night's winning contestant. Each theater partner will host their own performance dates and engage audiences in local town hall events with artists, activists and policy makers on the subject of "What it means to be a citizen".

Hailed as one of the Top 10 productions of 2018 by Cleveland's Plain Dealer, "This smart, provocative play deserves to go on to be produced in as many U.S. cities as are on the map."
To learn more about the American Dreams schedule, tour partners and ticketing information, visit each individual theater's websites listed below.
American Dreams was originally created and developed by Leila Buck and Tamilla Woodard in collaboration with Jens Rasmussen. Devised with Jens Rasmussen, Osh Ghanimah, Imran Sheikh and company. The cast features Andre Ali Andre, Leila Buck, India Nicole Burton, Jens Rasmussen, Imran Sheikh and Andrew Valdez.

Design by: Katherine Freer (Video); ViDCo (Virtual Performance Design); Stacey Derosier (Lighting); Sam Kusnetz (Sound); Kerry McCarthy (Costumes); Ryan Patterson (Scenic). Colleen McCaughey (Production Stage Management); Lory Henning (Production Manager); Amanda Cooper (Consulting Producer).

Leila Buck (Writer/Co-creator/Performer) is a Lebanese American playwright, actor, facilitator and educator. She has performed and developed her work at the Public, NYTW, Culture Project, BRIC Arts, Brooklyn Museum, Cleveland Public, Cal Shakes, Mosaic Theater at Arena Stage, and the Wilma (Barrymore Award), and performed and taught theatrical tools for literacy, conflict resolution, and intercultural engagement to youth, educators, aid workers, UN delegates and others across the U.S., Europe, China, Australia and 11 Arab countries. She is a member of the Public's inaugural Emerging Writers Group, a Usual Suspect with NYTW, and teaches Creation and Representation in U.S. Theater at NYU.

Tamilla Woodard (Director/Co-Creator) is the new Co-Artistic Director of Working Theater, former BOLD Associate Artistic Director at WP Theater, and the co-founder of PopUP Theatrics. She also served as the associate director of Hadestown on Broadway. Recently named one of 50 Women to Watch on Broadway, Tamilla is a graduate of Yale School of Drama, where she currently teaches. Last season her work included the Lucille Lortel nominated Where We Stand by Donnetta Lavinia Grays for WP Theater and Baltimore Center Stage, Caryl Churchill's Top Girls at American Conservatory Theater and direction and co-conception of Warriors Don't Cry, a Co-production of The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts and TheaterWorksUSA.

Working Theater believes the transformative experience of live theater should not be a luxury, but a staple. Now in its 36th season, Working Theater continues its mission to produce theater for and about working people -- the essential workers of any city or town -- and to make play-going a regular part of our audiences' cultural lives. By making productions relevant, accessible and affordable regardless of geography or socio-economic status, Working Theater strives to always acknowledge the city's diversity while seeking to unite us in our common humanity. Working Theater is under the leadership of Co-Artistic Directors Mark Plesent and Tamilla Woodard and Managing Director, Laura Carbonell Monarque. www.theworkingtheater.org

Round House Theatreis one of the leading professional theatres in the Washington, DC area, producing a season of new plays, modern classics, and musicals for more than 40,000 patrons each year at our theatre in Bethesda. Round House has been nominated for 197 Helen Hayes Awards and has won 37 including four Outstanding Resident Play Awards and the Charles MacArthur Award for Original New Play in 2016. Round House's lifelong learning and education programs serve more than 5,000 students each year at its Education Center in Silver Spring, in schools throughout Montgomery County, and at our Bethesda theatre. For tickets and information: www.roundhousetheatre.org

Salt Lake Acting Company (SLAC)'s mission is to engage and enrich the community through brave contemporary theatre. Founded in 1970, SLAC is a not-for-profit 501(c) 3 professional theatre dedicated to producing, commissioning, and developing new works and to supporting a community of professional artists. SLAC has been nationally recognized by the Shubert Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pew Charitable Trusts, and the Edgerton Foundation, among others. For tickets and information: www.saltlakeactingcompany.org

HartBeat Ensemble was founded in 2001 with a mission to create provocative theater that connects our community beyond traditional barriers of race, gender, class and geography. An artist-led, artist-driven company dedicated to building community partnerships and helping to integrate the arts into our community's civic agenda. As an ensemble of artist-activists, we create as well as present innovative productions based on critical civic issues. HartBeat also continues to inspire the next generation of leaders to create change for a better world through its innovative creative workforce program, the Youth Play Institute.
For tickets and information: https://www.hartbeatensemble.org/

The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts: For 90 years, The Bushnell has been central to life in Greater Hartford serving as its unique gathering place for arts, education, and community activities. As a dynamic 21st Century performing arts center, The Bushnell presents, creates, inspires and shares the best in the performing arts; and in partnership with others, serves as a catalyst to advance education, promote economic development and build a sense of community in Central Connecticut. Today, The Bushnell, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, is the State's largest arts organization and has been deemed a "Connecticut Cultural Treasure." For tickets and information: https://www.bushnell.org/

The Thomas J. Dodd Center: Devoted to the theme of human rights, the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center honors Thomas Dodd's service as Executive Trial Counsel in the International Military Tribunal, the first of the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials. The Dodd Center also seeks to advance human rights education in Connecticut public schools through its K-12 initiative, support the scholarly use of the Thomas J. Dodd Papers, through its International Justice Research Fellowship, and recognize leaders in the advancement of human rights worldwide through the Thomas J. Dodd Prize in International Justice and Human Rights. For tickets and information: https://dodd.uconn.edu/

Marin Theatre Company is the Bay Area's premier mid-sized theatre and the leading professional theatre in the North Bay. We produce a six-show season focused on new American plays. We are committed to the development and production of new plays, with a comprehensive New Play Program that includes productions of world premieres, two nationally recognized annual playwriting awards and readings and workshops by the nation's best emerging and established playwrights.. MTC strives to create intimate, powerful and emotional experiences that engage audiences to discuss new ideas and adopt a broader point of view. MTC was founded in 1966 and is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. For tickets and information: marintheatre.org

ASU Gammage For more than 50 years, ASU Gammage has been a top cultural destination in the Valley. The Frank Lloyd Wright designed performing arts center located on the Tempe campus of Arizona State University is one of the largest university-based presenters of performing arts in the world. For tickets and information: www.asugammage.com
Texas Performing Arts (TPA)is the performing arts presenting program of The University of Texas at Austin. Its venues include Bass Concert Hall, which is regularly one of the highest-attendance theatre venues in the world, ranked #22 globally in 2019. An anchor for Austin's performing arts community and a major contributor to cultural life in Texas, TPA features more than 280 performances each year. Following a national search, Tony Award-winning producer Bob Bursey was appointed Executive Director in January,2020. For tickets and information: www.texasperformingarts.org
Link http://www.texasperformingarts.org

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