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Working Theater Presents Virtual Production of AMERICAN DREAMS

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American Dreams is directed by Working Theater's Co-Artistic Director Tamilla Woodard.

Working Theater, in partnership with Round House Theatre (Bethesda, MD), Salt Lake Acting Company (Salt Lake City, UT)), Marin Theatre Company (Mill Valley, CA), a consortium of cultural institutions representing greater Hartford lead by HartBeat Ensemble, The Bushnell and UConn's Thomas J. Dodd Center, (Hartford, CT) Arizona State University Gammage (Tempe, AZ) and Texas Performing Arts (Austin, TX) join forces to present a unique co-production of American Dreams.

Written by and featuring Leila Buck (HKEELEE (Talk to Me), American Dreams is directed by Working Theater's Co-Artistic Director Tamilla Woodard (Where We Stand, WP Theater, associate director, Hadestown on Broadway) and will be live-streamed as an interactive event.

American Dreams is a participatory performance that imagines a world where the only way to gain U.S. citizenship is by competing in a nationally-televised game show run by the government. Through America's most valued democratic process -- voting -- audience members decide who will win instant citizenship. Taking a page from America's favorite game shows, this playful interactive production uses voting, polling, trivia and more to explore what it means to be a citizen and how we choose our neighbors.

"American Dreams is a play that needs to happen now as we are approaching an election," says Working Theater Co-Artistic Director Mark Plesent. "I think that the American Experiment is failing on so many levels. American Dreams offers us a safe opportunity, full of humor, to experience our individual complicity in the dangers facing our nation, and also points to ways to change course, beginning with ourselves."

In a unique partnership with a cross section of leading theaters and cultural organizations, representing every region of the United States, the 2020 live interactive presentation of American Dreams follows a much celebrated and sold-out run at The Cleveland Public Theatre in 2018.

"Though our theater buildings may be closed, the need to gather around provocative storytelling is still present," says Tamilla Woodard, Co-Artistic Director of Working Theater. "With this unique partnership we get to do something we most certainly wouldn't have been able to do before- create a national collaboration with nine institutions and theaters across the country to activate audiences in local conversations about immigrants rights, the power of the vote and what it means to be a citizen. The agility all of the producing partners are able to bring to this collaboration is truly remarkable. Their appetite for innovation and invention is inspiring. This is the power of theater that makes room for radical access, radical inclusion and a new model of collaboration."

"Round House was immediately excited to be part of a national tour of American Dreams because the show asks questions every person in America should have on their minds right now, especially as we approach the election. This partnership represents the best of what theatre can do to build collaboration, respond and adapt to the world around us, and foster meaningful conversations in our communities." Ryan Rilette, Artistic Director of Round House Theatre.

"Salt Lake Acting Company is honored to be a co-producer of American Dreams," said SLAC Executive Artistic Director Cynthia Fleming. "During this unprecedented time, we have been aching for an opportunity to bring exciting new theatrical works to our audiences, and this one-of-a-kind partnership with Working Theater, Round House, and others, speaks to the resilience of the artistic spirit and the power of collaboration."

The newly conceived digital production, developed and produced by Working Theater, features unique technical innovations that invite theater-going audiences to not only be part of the show, but to decide each night's winning contestant. Each theater partner will host their own performance dates and engage audiences in local town hall events with artists, activists and policy makers on the subject of "What it means to be a citizen".

Hailed as one of the Top 10 productions of 2018 by Cleveland's Plain Dealer, "This smart, provocative play deserves to go on to be produced in as many U.S. cities as are on the map."

To learn more about the American Dreams schedule, tour partners and ticketing information, visit each individual theater's websites listed below.

American Dreams was originally created and developed by Leila Buck and Tamilla Woodard in collaboration with Jens Rasmussen. Devised with Jens Rasmussen, Osh Ghanimah, Imran Sheikh and company. The cast features Ali Andre Ali, Leila Buck, India Nicole Burton, Jens Rasmussen, Imran Sheikh and Andrew Valdez.

Design by: Katherine Freer (Video); ViDCo (Virtual Performance Design); Stacey Derosier (Lighting); Sam Kusnetz (Sound); Kerry McCarthy (Costumes); Ryan Patterson (Scenic). Colleen McCaughey (Production Stage Management); Lory Henning (Production Manager); Amanda Cooper (Consulting Producer).


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