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Political Thriller at Tacoma Little Theatre

One night only: Building the Wall

Scott C. Brown and Iesha McIntyre. Photo courtesy Randy Clark

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Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning playwright Robert Schenkkan's timely political thriller Building the Wall comes to Tacoma Little Theatre for a one-night-only staged reading directed by Randy Clark, founder of Dukesbay Theatre, and starring Scott C. Brown and Iesha McIntyre.

Called a "must-see show" by The New York Times, and "a mesmerizing and shocking new play that simmers with of-the-moment urgency," by The Hollywood Reporter, Building the Wall is a ripped-from-the-headlines thriller set in a not-too-distant dystopian future. The President has been impeached after declaring marshal law following a terrorist attack on Times Square. Millions of undocumented immigrants have been detained in overflowing private prisons. Rick (Brown) is in prison awaiting what may be a death sentence and is being interviewed by Gloria (McIntyre), a history professor. 

"Rick is just an ordinary man put in an extraordinary situation," Brown says. "He is a victim of circumstances outside his control, trying to make the best of the situation he finds himself in. Or is he? That is the elegance of this play: It doesn't expressly lead viewers down a path, but rather starts to unravel facts, and slowly lets the audience make their own decisions. It is hauntingly powerful, provocative, and I hope it will be discussed by those who see this production."

Clark said, "I found this script last September down in Ashland, Oregon, at the Shakespeare Festival's book store and immediately knew I had to produce it. I believe our country is in crisis and this is a well-written play about how far our fear might drive us. There are many ways that we can respond as citizens, and our way is to respond through the arts. The play is an important statement about how quickly our current policies about immigration can get out of hand and become truly criminal. Our country is in crisis at the moment and this play shows where it could head if the right circumstances came along and we gave into the burgeoning atmosphere of fear." 

McIntyre and Brown worked together a few years back in a production of Doubt for Gold From Straw Theatre. She worked with Clark on Dukesbay's presentation of Never Again, about the Japanese-American incarceration during World War II.

I picked Brown as Best Actor three times for my "Critics Choice" in The News Tribune, as Salieri in Amadeus, as Randle McMurthy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, both at Lakewood Playhouse, and as Bobby in Sins of the Mother at Harlequin Productions. He's also been in more than a dozen feature-length films, and a number of TV/New Media series and in well over 30 local plays. 

This staged reading is free to TLT members and pay-what-you-can to all others.

Building the Wall, 7:30 p.m., Thursday, June 7, Tacoma Little Theatre, 210 N. I St., Tacoma, 253.272.2281,

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