Epic Theatre Ensemble's THE WINNING SIDE Names Special Guests for Post Show Series

Epic Theatre Ensemble's THE WINNING SIDE Names Special Guests for Post Show Series

Epic Theatre Ensemble is proud to announce its special guest line-up for the post-show talkbacks following every performance of the world premiere of The Winning Side, a new play by James Wallert.

The Winning Side, which is now in rehearsals, begins previews on Wednesday, October 3, 2018 and officially opens on Monday, October 8, 2018 at The Acorn Theatre of Theatre Row (410 West 42nd St.), a program Building for the Arts NY, Inc. It will play a limited run through Sunday, October 28, 2018.

The Winning Side has invited guest experts in the fields of history, science, politics, engineering and technology. These talks are an important part of Epic Theatre Ensemble's mission to promote vital discourse. Audience members are invited to stay after every show for these lively and fascinating discussions that will revolve around the play's subject matter.

The line-up is as follows below, noting that not all guests have yet been announced and these are subject to change.

  • Friday October 5, 8PM: David Berreby, Journalist and author of Us and Them: The Science of Identity
  • Saturday October 6, 8PM: Priscilla Murolo, Professor of Women's History at Sarah Lawrence College and author of The Common Ground of Womanhood: Class, Gender, and Working Girls' Clubs
  • Sunday October 7, 3PM: Andrea Bonime-Blanc, CEO, GEC Risk Advisory and author of The Artificial Intelligence Imperative
  • Wednesday October 10, 8PM: Avis Lang, co-author (with Neil deGrasse Tyson) and editor of Accessory to War: The Unspoken Alliance between Astrophysics and the Military
  • Thursday October 11, 8PM: Jonathan Alter, Analyst for MSNBC and author of The Center Holds: Obama and His Enemies.
  • Saturday October 13, 8PM: Michael Neufeld, Senior curator at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and author of Von Braun: Dreamer of Space, Engineer of War
  • Sunday October 14, 3PM: Michael Buckley, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Lehman College
  • Thursday October 18, 8PM: Cecilia Rubino, Chair of the Theatre Department at Eugene Lang College/ The New School
  • Friday October 19, 8PM: Julian Zelizer, CNN contributor, Professor of History at Princeton University, and author of Arsenal of Democracy: The Politics of National Security - From World War II to the War on Terrorism
  • Saturday October 20, 8PM: Shira Mitchell, NYC Mayor's Office of Data Analytics
  • Sunday October 21, 3PM: Gabriel Cwilich, Professor of Physics at Yeshiva University
  • Thursday October 25, 8PM: S. Matthew Liao, Arthur Zitrin Professor of Bioethics at NYU and author of Moral Brains: The Neuroscience of Morality
  • Friday October 26, 8PM: Teasel Muir-Harmony, Curator at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

Based on the true story of Wernher von Braun, Chief Rocket Engineer for the Third Reich and one of the fathers of the United States space program, The Winning Side explores the hidden history behind America's 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing.

The Winning Side will star Sullivan Jones ("The Looming Tower") as Wernher von Braun, Melissa Friedman (Hannah and Martin) as Margot, Godfrey L. Simmons, Jr. (Einstein's Gift) as Major Taggert and Devin E. Haqq (Macbeth: Born with Teeth) in multiple roles. It will be directed by Ron Russell (Epic co-founder and executive director)

As the preeminent face and voice of space exploration on television during the 1950's and 60's, von Braun was one of the most famous men in the world. But because of his complicated legacy, he's largely been left out of the history books. With The Winning Side, Wallert creates an accessible theatrical experience for audiences of all ages that re-examines this forgotten figure of the space race, and asks challenging questions about our contemporary views of science, technology, politics, and ethics.

The creative team includes: Chika Shimizu (set/projections designer), Cat Tate Starmer (lighting designer), Betsy Rugg-Hinds (costume designer) and Ron Russell (sound designer).

Tickets are $20 for all preview performances (October 3-7), $35 for the first week (October 10-14) and $45 thereafter. Tickets can be purchased at http://www.epictheatreensemble.org/the-winning-side/.

"As long as I can remember, I've been fascinated by the American space program," Wallert said. "The moon landing was presented as an awesome feat of American engineering genius and political will. It wasn't until much later that I began to become aware of just how much moral compromise and human sacrifice was marshaled to propel America toward that 'one small step'."

Wallert was inspired by the biography, Von Braun: Dreamer of Space, Engineer of War by Michael J. Neufeld, Senior Curator, Space History Department at The National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution. Neufeld had a chance to read the play and see an early workshop said: "The Winning Side" takes the facts of Wernher von Braun's life in Nazi Germany and the United States and artfully mixes them with fiction to produce a stimulating theatrical experience that asks fundamental moral questions about his Nazi past and the American decision to bring him over. It will be a valuable experience for students and adults, provoking debates about morality and history."

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