Civic Ensemble Presents THE TRUMP CARD

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Civic Ensemble Presents THE TRUMP CARD

Civic Ensemble's Godfrey L. Simmons, Jr. will perform Mike Daisey's edgy, funny, and provocative monologue The Trump Card at the Kitchen Theatre Company this Summer! Opening night is Thursday, July 18th at 8:00pm at the Kitchen Theatre Company, 417 West MLK Jr. Street, Ithaca NY. Performances are Thursday to Saturday at 8:00 pm and Sunday at 4:00 pm through July 28th. The Trump Card is an examination of our current political moment and a call for self reflection among Ithacans of every political persuasion. The production is directed by Ron Russell, Co-Founder and Executive Director, of Epic Theatre Ensemble of New York City.

The Trump Card is an exploration of Trump's life story, influences, and his ascent to political power. The monologue examines how performance intersects with politics, and how the quality of that performance can shape millions of lives. The TrumpCard is neither comedic impersonation (but it's funny!) nor political diatribe (well maybe a little bit...), and is critical of Democrats, Republicans, and Progressives.

Mike Daisey has been hailed as "the master storyteller" and "one of the finest solo performers of his generation" by The New York Times, is the preeminent monologist in the American theater today. He has been compared to a modern-day Mark Twain and a latter-day Orson Welles for his provocative monologues that combine the political and the personal, weaving together secret histories with hilarity and heart. He's known for art that reinvents the form, like his critically acclaimed 29-night live theatrical novel, All the Faces of the Moon, a forty hour performance staged at The Public Theater in New York City. He has been nominated for the Outer Critics Circle Award, two Drama League Awards, and is the recipient of the Bay Area Critics Circle Award, six Seattle Times Footlight Awards, the Sloan Foundation's Galileo Prize, and a MacDowell Fellowship. As a playwright, his transcript of The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs was downloaded over 100,000 times in the first week it was made available. Under a revolutionary open license it has seen more than 150 productions around the world and been translated into six languages.

Ron Russell is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Epic Theatre Ensemble. Ron has an MFA in Directing from Louisiana State University and a BA in Neuroscience/Theatre from Oberlin College. After founding the nationally acclaimed Summer Theatre Enrichment Program at El Centro de Servicios in Lorain, Ohio, Ron came to New York as Education Director at Theatre for a New Audience. There from 1996-2001, Ron administered one of the nation's most in-depth programs for introducing NYC Public School students to Shakespeare, serving over 25,000 students during his tenure, and created new programming including the Playwriting Program at Project Renewal, an assisted living facility for homeless men. Ron sat on the Arts-in-Education panel of the New York State Council on the Arts from 1998-2001. He has directed extensively in NYC including 25 Off-Broadway productions (14 for Epic, including The Winning Side, Nilaja Sun's PIKE ST., and Kate Fodor's Hannah and Martin). His classroom experience includes over 50 educational sites, and his work as an educator in NYC has been recognized by citations from the Municipal Arts Society and Mayors Giuliani and Bloomberg.

Godfrey L. Simmons, Jr is an actor and director who has been championing and shepherding new scripts and adaptations toward production for over 20 years. He recently directed Civic Ensemble's Off-Off Broadway production of Eugene O'Neill's rarely-produced All God's Chillun Got Wings at JACK in Brooklyn, NY. On stage, he was most recently seen in the Obie Award-winning Epic Theatre Ensemble's production of Richard III, in the title role of Othello with Ithaca Shakespeare Company, and as Hambone in Syracuse Stage's production of August Wilson's Two Trains Running. He co-wrote and starred in the documentary play Dispatches From (A)mended America, which was produced Off-Broadway by Epic in the fall of 2012. Dispatches... examines the hopes, fears and dreams of the American South during the month leading up to President Barack Obama's 2009 inauguration. Godfrey also co-wrote and starred in THE LOST CHILDREN, Mark Harris' independent film about death cults. Godfrey is a 2012 Fox Fellow for his work with Epic Theatre Ensemble. Off-Broadway: Old Settler (Primary Stages; Audelco Award - Best Supporting Actor); Betty's Summer Vacation (Playwrights Horizons); Einstein's Gift, Widowers' Houses, A Hard Heart, A More Perfect Union, Richard III, Macbeth, Passion Play (Epic Theatre Ensemble); Ice Island (Melting Pot Theatre); Free Market (Working Theater). He has taught acting at Cornell University, Marymount Manhattan College, and Binghamton University. He is a member of Epic Theatre Ensemble, Ensemble Studio Theatre, and the Lark Playground.

Rachel Russo serves as the Stage Manager for The Trump Card, with Alisar Awwad as Assistant Director and Dramaturg, Carrell Johnson as Line Producer, and Cindy K. Greco is the Graphic Designer.

Civic Ensemble is a non-profit theatre company serving Ithaca and Tompkins County that produces new plays by or about women and people of color, re-imaginings of classics, and community-based plays that explore and explode the social, political, and cultural issues of our time. Through the production of plays, after-school and in-school education programs for young people, and civic engagement programs with Ithaca community members, the company works to bring audiences of different races, classes, and experiences together in a public forum on the American experiment. Civic Ensemble is committed to employing Ithaca-based theatre artists whenever possible. It is our vision that theatre be accessible to all people, onstage and off. "Theatre is Everyone's Birthright."

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