Shotgun Players Presents KINGS By Sarah Burgess
New member of congress, Sydney Millsap, sees how money corrupts politics, and she's on a mission to do something about it. Just imagine how a career senator and two ambitious lobbyists react to her efforts! Kings is a whip-smart political satire that will inspire you to change the system. And vote. Kings begins previews on Thursday, May 16; opens on Thursday, May 23; and runs through Sunday, June 16, 2019, at the Ashby Stage.
With the mid-term elections, over 100 women were elected to Congress. There are women who defeated long-time incumbents, women like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who are willing to take a stand against inequities in the political system even if members of her party advise against it. Audiences will find many similarities with Sarah Burgess' play. Director Joanie McBrien speaks to how this savvy political satire speaks to our times: "Kings features four very nuanced characters that represent different perspectives on politics. Sydney Millsap is the new congresswoman trying to challenge the system. Senator McDowell is a long-time, popular incumbent who excels at working the system to his advantage. Lauren is a lobbyist at the top of her game who knows how to influence and manipulate both politicians and donors. Kate is a rising lobbyist who is hungry for more power-and clients. What makes Kings so intriguing is that each character has depth and heart. There are no villains in the play; rather, there are four characters who ultimately believe in the greater good, but have very different ideas about whether you should ever compromise your ideals."
Recalling her inspiration for writing Kings, Sarah Burgess says in a 2018 issue of Vogue: "I read about these fund-raising retreats that politicians do, and it just seemed incredibly funny to me-something about the powerful politicians and important lobbyists together for a weekend of organized fun. And that scenario made me curious about what kind of conversations happen there and how the business of politics gets negotiated. One of the tricky things about writing about this topic is that these aren't strictly bribes. No one's giving someone a $1,000 check and saying, "You have to sponsor this legislation for me." It's like a swingers convention in that, right underneath the small talk, there's the obvious reason that everyone's there."
The cast of Kings features Sam Jackson, Sarah Mitchell, Elissa Beth Stebbins, and Don Wood. The creative team features set design by Angrette McCloskey, lighting design by Chris Lundahl, costume design by Miyuki Bierlein, stage management by Heather Kelly-Laws, props design by Devon LaBelle, sound design by James Ard, dialect coaching by Rebecca Castelli, and production assistance by Lenny Adler.