Tag Archives: Rolling World Premiere

After 3rd sold-out month, ‘Building the Wall’ extends again to August 27 at Fountain Theatre

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Judith Moreland and Bo Foxworth in ‘Building the Wall’ at Fountain Theatre

Now in its 3rd sold-out month, The Fountain Theatre’s acclaimed world premiere of the powerful new play Building the Wall has been extended to August 27th.

In the newest play by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning playwright Robert Schenkkan (The Kentucky Cycle, All the Way, Hacksaw Ridge), the Trump administration has carried out his campaign promise to round up and detain millions of immigrants. As a writer interviews the former supervisor of a private prison, it becomes clear how federal policy has escalated to a terrifying, seemingly inconceivable, yet inevitable conclusion.

Directed by Michael Michetti, the original cast features Judith Moreland as Gloria, and Bo Foxworth as Rick. Victoria Platt will assume the role of Gloria starting June 24th.

The Fountain Theatre’s world premiere, the first in a series of productions taking place across the U.S. as part of a National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere, has received national and international attention from TIME magazine,  The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC News Hour, Radio Canada, Agence France-Presse, Breitbart News and more. The Los Angeles Times calls it “L.A.’s Hottest Ticket!”

A REVOLUTIONARY NEW PLAY”— TIME magazine

L.A.’S HOTTEST TICKET… terrifyingly plausible… should be seen and shuddered over, if only to heighten our collective vigilance.” — Los Angeles Times

PACKS PUNCH AFTER PUNCH”—Daily News

MESMERIZING… logically illustrates, step by step, how fascism can gradually take root among people who abhor it.” —The Hollywood Reporter

COMPELLING… Don’t miss this play” — KCRW

RIVETING… an urgently important call to arms” — Arts In LA

A TOUR DE FORCE… riveting, harrowing and illuminating” — Broadway World

ONE HELL OF A SCARY PLAY… a necessary wake-up call to action.” — EDGE

GRIPPING… timely and relevant” — LA Splash

SEE IT WHILE YOU CAN” — People’s World

More Info/Get Tickets

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‘Building the Wall’ to open Off-Broadway

BUILDING THE WALL NYCRobert Schenkkan’s powerful new political thriller Building the Wall, now playing to sold-out houses at the Fountain Theatre, will open Off-Broadway at New World Stages for a limited run May 12 to July 9th.  The New York production will feature Tamara Tunie (“Law & Order: SVU”) and James Badge Dale (“13 hours”, “The Departed”),  directed by Ari Edelson.

“We are thrilled Robert’s play will increase the national conversation on these issues by making its New York debut, ” says Fountain Co-Artistic Director Stephen Sachs. “I am very proud that the Fountain Theatre has lead the charge by launching the world premiere of this urgent new play.” 

The Fountain Theatre opened the National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere of Building the Wall on March 18, directed by Michael Michetti and starring Bo Foxworth and Judith Moreland. The production has earned rave reviews and is still playing to sold-out houses. The current run continues to May 21. 

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Judith Moreland and Bo Foxworth in “Building the Wall”, Fountain Theatre

“This announcement comes from the core of our artistic mission at the Fountain,” says Sachs. “We are dedicated to developing and producing new plays that are later seen in theaters across the country and around the world.” Examples include Athol Fugard’s Exits and Entrances, which premiered at the Fountain and opened Off-Broadway at Primary Stages, Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine, and Sachs’ own Bakersfield Mist, now being produced worldwide after a 3-month run on London’s West End.

Building the Wall at Fountain Theatre

Big news day for Fountain Theatre and Robert Schenkkan’s ‘Building the Wall’

wall-title-imageMondays at the Fountain Theatre are usually slow and quiet. The traditional day off for folks in the theatre, Mondays at the Fountain are usually spent catching up on office paperwork and reconciling reports from a weekend of performances. But yesterday was anything but quiet when a series of national news stories on our upcoming world premiere of Robert Schenkkan’s new play, Building the Wall, posted on line and in newspapers across the country, triggering an avalanche of activity. 

The New York Times featured a story by Michael Paulson profiling playwright Robert Schenkkan and his “white-hot fury” to write the first draft of the play in just one week after the election.   The Times outlined that four theatres across the country are producing the new play — lead by the Fountain’s world premiere on March 18 — as part of an National New Play Network (NNPN) Rolling World Premiere. Each theatre had to move fast.

“We no longer live in a world that is business as usual — Trump has made that very clear — and if theater is going to remain relevant, we must become faster to respond,” Mr. Schenkkan said.  

In the Times article, Fountain Co-Artistic Director Stephen Sachs adds:

“We had our season in place, with another production planned, but as soon as I read this script I knew we had to move fast,” said Stephen Sachs, an artistic director of the Fountain Theatre. “It’s a raw, passionate warning cry, and I knew we had to be bold and make this statement.”  

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Playwright Robert Schenkkan (photo by Chad Batka, New York Times)

The Washington Post, in a story by , examined how theatres have changed their season programming in response to the Trump administration. The article highlights Building the Wall.

The same day, Playbill posted a story by Robert Viagas with the headline, ‘Four Theatres Sign on for Trump Play by Pulitzer Prize Winner’. The article summarizes how the Fountain Theatre in Los Angeles, Curious Theatre in Denver, Borderlands Theater in Arizona, and Forum Theatre in Maryland have partnered in the NNPN Rolling World Premiere.

This flurry of national press activity — all on the same day — generated a blizzard of phone calls and emails to the Fountain. Social media lit up, with our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts buzzing with posts, re-posts, likes, and comments. The office at the National New Play Network in Washington DC also reported a flood of emails and calls yesterday. Interest in the play is expected to increase as we move closer to opening.

The National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere of Building the Wall opens at the Fountain Theatre on March 18, directed by Michael Michetti. Set in the very near future, the Trump administration has carried out his campaign promise to round up and detain millions of immigrants. Now, a writer interviews the supervisor of a private prison as he awaits sentencing for carrying out the federal policy that has escalated into the unimaginable. This riveting, harrowing and illuminating drama delivers a powerful warning and puts a human face on the inhuman, revealing how when personal accountability is denied, what seems inconceivable becomes inevitable.

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Fountain Theatre in Kansas City for National New Play Network Conference

Fun, BBQ and Business in Kansas City

NNPN member theaters from across the nation meet in Kansas City.

This past week, June 6-June 9, our Producing Director, Simon Levy, represented the Fountain Theatre at the annual conference of the National New Play Network (NNPN).

NNPN is an alliance of 26 leading nonprofit theaters that champion the development, production and continued life of new plays.
 
One of NNPN’s signature programs is the Continued Life of New Plays Fund which funds and promotes “Rolling World Premieres” that allow playwrights to participate in a minimum of 3 productions of their play over an 18 month period.
 
The Fountain has been a member of NNPN since 2002. We’ve participated in 3 Rolling World Premieres: And Her Hair Went With Her by Zina Camblin, Exits and Entrances by Athol Fugard, and Bakersfield Mist by Stephen Sachs.

The Fountain’s “Bakersfield Mist” lives on in Power Point!

 This year’s conference was hosted by Unicorn Theatre in Kansas City.

Unicorn Theatre

Besides being an opportunity to reconnect with colleagues from all over the United States, the conference is the time for the Board of Directors to conduct business. Highlights included:
  • Granting $70K in Playwright Commissions
  • Granting two Producer Residencies
  • Awarding Collaboration Fund grants
  • Adding a new Associate Member category, so more theaters dedicated to creating new work can join the Network
  • Voting in San Diego Repertory Theatre as our 26th Core Member
  • Voting to add a 6th At-Large Board Member
  • Planning NNPN’s 15th anniversary next year, to be held at the InterAct Theatre Company in Philadelphia, who will be celebrating their 25th anniversary
  • Approving the 2013-2014 budget
  • Revamping the submission process for NNPN’s other flagship program, the National Showcase of New Plays
  • Revamping the Smith Prize, which is awarded to a new play that tackles politics in America
  • Creating an international exchange/partnership with PlayWriting Australia
  • Planning for a future Virtual Script Library and revamped website
  • And electing the new Officers for the Board of NNPN

“Everyday Rapture” at the Unicorn Theatre

Along with all of that, we were treated to:

  • the Unicorn’s current production of Dick Scanlan’s and Sherie Rene Scott’s Everyday Rapture – the first production allowed outside of New York – about a Mennonite woman’s dream of performing on Broadway
  • a staged reading of the 2012 Smith Prize winner, Grounded by George Brant, about a female drone pilot
  • and presentations by this year’s Playwrights-in-Residence – Christina Anderson, Gabrielle Fulton and Steve Moulds.

And then, of course, there was all the personal schmoozing, lunch and dinner chats, and talk/walks to and from the theatre and hotel.

By the way, if you’re ever staying in Kansas City, check out The Q Hotel. Very nice. And they’re “green”!

And, yes, the BBQ in KC is worth the trip.