Suffolk University Theatre Department Announces ONE STATE, TWO STATE, RED STATE, BLUE STATE

Suffolk University Theatre Department Announces ONE STATE, TWO STATE, RED STATE, BLUE STATE

Inspired by the current political climate, Suffolk University Theatre Professor Wesley Savick brings a new musical to the Modern Theatre, one state, two state / red state, blue state. The musical features new songs in the indigenous American languages of folk, country, blues, jazz and Broadway. The story focuses on what happens when "Betty" and "Bill" - former lovers living on opposite sides of the country - rekindle their relationship after a long separation.

Inspired by Arlie Russell Hochschild's Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right (2016 National Book Award Nomination for Nonfiction), one state, two state / red state, blue state leaps into the cultural cracks of the 'Divided States of America' and asks: Is it still possible to climb the "empathy wall" and reclaim what unites us before we're irreversibly torn apart?

Says playwright and director, Wes Savick:

"Arlie Hochschild's brilliant book provided me with a way into the material. The show is intended to welcome audiences of all political persuasions. It is not about ideology. It is about who we might be right now, what we might hope to become and the actions which lead to unforeseen consequences."

Bursting with humor and passion, the musical score celebrates the sound of something like hope in a tragi-comic universe of our own making. Classically comedic, delightful songs like "Drama and Democracy" and "(Why We Can't Have) Nice Things" are juxtaposed with emotional ballads and provocative, piercing songs of protest like "I Stand in Line" and "Strangers."

one state, two state / red state, blue state is a production of the Suffolk University Theatre Department and will run in the Modern Theatre fromApril 5-8.

Dr. Hochschild will participate in the following presentations at Suffolk's Modern Theatre on April 6 and 7.

April 6, 4PM Ford Hall Forum. "Strangers in Their Own Land: Where from Here?" - a talk and conversation with Dr. Hochschild. Moderator, Scott Helman, staff writer and editor for the Boston Globe. Free and open to the public. Reservations available at

April 7, after the 3PM matinee: a post-performance discussion with Dr. Hochschild and Professor Savick moderated by Suffolk Philosophy Professor Greg Fried.


one state, two state

red state, two state

an american musical

Book, lyrics and direction by Wesley Savick
Music by Brian Bernhard, Scott Nicholas and Wesley Savick

An uplifting, heartbreaking comedy about America's volatile mix of drama and democracy.

WHEN: April 5-8, 2018
Thurs. @7:30PM
Fri., Sat. & Sun. @ 8PM
Sun. & Sat. @ 3PM

WHERE: Modern Theatre

525 Washington Street

Boston, MA 02111

TICKETS: General Admission: $15 | $10 students (with valid I.D) and seniors. ***

Call 866-811-4111 or visit

At checkout choose "Interactive Seating" for on stage seats where audience members will be part of the performance. An exciting adventure PLUS a huge ticket discount.... a highly immersive experience: Located on the stage, near the actors and music, and visible to the audience.


April 6, 4PM Ford Hall Forum. "Strangers in Their Own Land: Where from Here?" - a talk and conversation with Dr. Hochschild, moderated by Boston Globe staff writer and editor Scott Helman. Free and open to the public. Reservations available at

In her Ford Hall Forum talk, Dr. Hochschild will share her five-year journey from the liberal political bubble of Berkeley, California to a highly conservative political bubble of Lake Charles, Louisiana, and the surrounding area. She describes her effort to climb over an "empathy wall" dividing the two, her discovered of a "deep story" underlying the right's world view. She describes the red state paradox which most puzzled her as she came in and the blue state paradox with which she ended. She then addresses the question of where a divided America goes from here.

April 7, after the 3PM matinee: a post-performance discussion with Dr. Hochschild and Professor Savick moderated by Suffolk Philosophy Professor Greg Fried.



WESLEY SAVICK (Book/Lyrics/Director) Wes has served as Artistic Director of Theatre X in Milwaukee, interim Artistic Director of the Drama League of New York's Directors Project, Artistic Associate of Chicago's Organic Theatre and guest director-in-residence at the DARTS Subaru Theatre in Tokyo, Japan. He received a prestigious Bunka-cho grant from the Japanese Ministry of Culture which enabled him to study traditional Japanese theatre and music in Tokyo for a year. He has directed or acted in over one hundred professional productions, almost all new works. He has written, co-written or adapted twenty-three plays including a musical based on the NPR show "Car Talk" which premiered at Suffolk University, and a full-length opera based on the life of Liberace. Wes is the Founding Director of The National Theatre of Allston, an independent initiative established exclusively for Suffolk students and alumni to transition into the professional Boston theatre. He has taught acting, directing, theatre history and dramatic theory at Suffolk University since 1999. Wes is a proud winner of the Outstanding Teacher Award at Suffolk. Wes received his BA at Dartmouth College and has subsequently collected graduate degrees at Boston University, Marquette University, and Northwestern University.


SCOTT NICHOLAS (Composer) has a repertoire spanning classical and musical theater and has appeared throughout the U.S. and internationally in solo and chamber performances. He has served as pianist for the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, The Three Irish Tenors, Minnesota Opera, Boston Lyric Opera's outreach programs, the Concord Women's Chorus and the Leontyne Price Vocal Arts Competition, among others. He has also recorded frequently with E.C. Schirmer's Philovox Ensemble and has been heard with WGBH-FM and WBUR-FM in Boston. He has served as music director for several organizations including Central Square Theatre, Franklin School for the Performing Arts, Franklin Performing Arts Company and St. Michael's Playhouse, VT. Mr. Nicholas is on the faculty of Emerson College and encore Music Academy, MA.


BRIAN BERNHARD (Composer) [Suffolk '14] has been seen at Potts in Mojo at the Charlestown Working Theater (Theatre on Fire); Billy Crocker in Anything Goes and Philoktetes in These Seven Sicknesses both at Suffolk University.


ARLIE RUSSELL HOCHSCHILD's latest book, Strangers in Their Own Land, Anger and Mourning on the American Right is based on five years of research with Tea Party and Trump supporters in Louisiana. Hochschild was a finalist for the National Book Award and a New York Times Best Seller. Other books by Dr. Hochschild include The Second Shift, The Time Bind, The Managed Heart, The Outsourced Self and a children's story, Coleen the Question Girl. A sociologist emerita at the University of California, Berkeley, she has received Guggenheim, Mellon and Fulbright Awards and the Ulysses Medal from the University College Dublin. Four of her books have been named` New York Times "Notable Books of the Year," and her work appears in sixteen languages. She lives with her husband, Adam, in Berkeley, California.


The Suffolk University Theatre Department is a student-centered department. Students write, direct, and design their own original plays and intern with leading theatre companies, both at Suffolk's Modern Theatre and with organizations throughout the United States. Students work in classic, musical, and experimental genres with a special focus on new work. In 1987, founding Artistic Director Marilyn Plotkins created the Boston Music Theatre Project (BMTP) to nurture new musicals of exceptional promise through readings and workshop productions.


Suffolk University, located in historic downtown Boston, with an international campus in Madrid, is a student-centered institution distinguished by excellence in education and scholarship. Suffolk University offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs in more than 90 areas of study. Its mission is to empower graduates to be successful locally, regionally, and globally.


The Modern Theatre at Suffolk University is the newest performance space in the Washington Street Theater District. The grand facade of the historic theater, Boston's first designed specifically for showing movies, has been painstakingly restored and reconstructed as part of the Modern Theatre and residence hall development. Inside, an intimate jewel-box theater showcases central design elements that are a modernization of some of the most distinctive historic features of the 1914 theater. The state-of-the-art, 185-seat venue is ideal for live performances, conversations, readings and film screenings and promotes excellence and innovation through all of its programming. For more about these and other programs at the Modern visit The Modern Theatre is managed and programmed by the Theatre Department at Suffolk University


The Ford Hall Forum at Suffolk University is the oldest free public lecture series in the United States. Founded in 1908, it continues to host open lectures and discussions in the Greater Boston area. Some of the more well-known past speakers include Maya Angelou, Isaac Asimov, Noam Chomsky, Alan Dershowitz, W. E. B. Du Bois, Al Gore, Martin Luther King Jr., Henry Kissinger, Norman Mailer, Ayn Rand, Cokie Roberts, Eleanor Roosevelt, Robert Frost, Malcolm X, Jimmy Wales, and Gwen Ifill.

The Ford Hall Forum's mission is "to promote freedom of speech and foster an informed and engaged citizenry through the free public presentation of lectures, debates, and discussions." Its events strive to illuminate key issues facing society by bringing to a public podium knowledgeable and thought-provoking speakers. These speakers are presented in person, for free, and in settings that facilitate frank and open debate.

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