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CENTERSTAGE Takes the Pulse of the Nation with MY AMERICA Video Project

As the nation prepares for the second presidential debate this evening, CENTERSTAGE releases the fourth set of videos in its My America project, an online artistic initiative bringing together 50 of the country's leading playwrights to answer a single question: What is my America?

The responses, captured in 50 short films by award-winning director Hal Hartley, range from the political to the personal, and form a snapshot of our nation through the eyes of its playwrights. My America features writers including Anna Deavere Smith, Neil LaBute, Christopher Durang, and Lynn Nottage, with performances by notable stage and film actors such as Michael Emerson and Terry O'Quinn (Lost), Carrie Preston (True Blood), Tracie Thoms (Rent), and Bobby Cannavale (Nurse Jackie).

Each week between now and Election Day on November 6, CENTERSTAGE is releasing a new set of videos online at This week's videos, curated specifically for tonight's debate, take a deep dive into the social, economic, and civic questions that shape our national political conversation.

From foreclosure to gay marriage, from the judiciary to the little-known circumstances surrounding the death of James A. Garfield, these monologues, with a wry mix of humor and heart, shine a light on our particular American moment-and tug at the seams of political rhetoric as only theater can.

My America is an artistic initiative conceived and created by CENTERSTAGE. To watch the videos, sign up to receive updates, and learn more about the playwrights and actors, visit


10/23 (Where I Live)
1. The Fifth L
2. Gwydion Suilebhan
3. Bekah Brunstetter
4. Kia Corthron
5. Elaine Romero
6. Kirsten Greenridge
7. Polly Pen

10/30 (Family Stories)
1. Qui Nguyen
2. D.J. Mendel
3. Christina Anderson
4. Rich Espey
5. Seema Sueko
6. Naomi Wallace
7. Lenelle Moise

11/6 (Work Stories)
1. Lynn Nottage
2. Lynn Nottage
3. Neil LaBute
4. Julie Jensen

CENTERSTAGE, the State Theater of Maryland, celebrates its 50th Anniversary Season in 2012-13. The professional, nonprofit company serves as a local hub and national leader for provocative, entertaining theater and as a catalyst for conversation in the community. Each year, a broad range of productions in two intimate performance spaces attracts a highly diverse audience of more than 100,000 people-including more than 8,000 fiercely loyal members. Under the leadership of ac- claimed playwright, actor, and director Kwame Kwei-Armah (Artistic Director) and national arts leader Stephen Richard (Managing Director), CENTERSTAGE enters its 50th year with a renewed dedication to the production of world-class theater in the heart of Baltimore.

Image: Screenshot from Thomas Bradshaw's "Untitled"

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