BWW Preview: The Producing Unit Presents a Staged Reading Of AMERICAN DREAMS at The Alhecama Theater
There's a sense, lately, of people focusing negative energy related to a rather tempestuous and divisive administration into positive energy for change. And what better way to nullify prejudice than to celebrate the diversity of the American experience? I've seen lawn signs and pride flags popping up all over the city, proudly proclaiming allegiance to acceptance. In that vein, this weekend The Producing Unit presents a staged reading of American Dreams, a performance piece exemplifying the broad and varied brands of "American" living. Directed by Peter Frisch and featuring Bill Egan, Tom Hinshaw, Meredith McMinn, Robert Riechel, Jeremy Tristan, and Ivy Vahanian, this series of monologues from a dozen different characters invites audiences to consider the very concept of the "American Dream," and how this socially constructed entitlement varies for each individual-yet exists consistently as a vital thematic goal.
This production, adapted by director Peter Frisch, is derived from American Dreams: Lost and Found, a book of interview-based profiles by Studs Terkel, the mid-twentieth-century radio personality and author who focused his work on capturing the lives of common Americans. Frisch has condensed and creatively edited twelve profiles to create the series of monologues. Of the characters, Frisch is partial to storefront photographer and unexpected social advocate, Ray Kaepplinger; and clansman-turned-civil-rights-activist, C.P. Ellis. Frisch describes Kaepplinger (Tom Hinshaw) as a "dorky fighter for justice" and Ellis (Bill Egan) as a great storyteller with a point of view that's unique and deeply moving.
American Dreams plays twice on Saturday, March 25th (2:30pm and 8:00pm) at the Alhecama Theater. It runs approximately 70 minutes, and will be followed by a reception. This production is a pay-what-you-can fundraiser for the company's upcoming season. Says Frisch of the presentation: "In a gentle way, this is a political production and a reaction to the priorities of the current administration. First and foremost, we aim to provide an entertaining evening, full of humor, pain and powerful emotion."
Saturday, March 25
2:30pm / 8pm