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The American Dream Project

Online Play Reading Series

PRESENTED BY MIDDLEBURY ACTING COMPANY WITH TOWN HALL THEATER AND VERMONT STAGE

4 PM on the second sunday of each month

November 15 – APRIL 11

4 PM

11/15, 12/13, 1/10, 2/14, 3/14, 4/11

Registration for the series

$20

AN ONLINE EVENT

YOUR “NOVEMBER 15 TICKET” INCLUDES THE ENTIRE SERIES.

The American Dream Project

Middlebury Acting Company (MACo) presents The American Dream Project, a new, monthly online play reading series, starting on Sunday, November 15th. Through the American Dream Project, MACo seeks to create a community of people interested in reading and discussing some seminal, relevant plays that directly pertain to issues of racial and economic inequities in our country.

The series, held every second Sunday at 4PM from November through April, will convene the group via ZOOM to discuss a play which participants will ready prior to gathering. A moderator will facilitate the conversation and MACo actors and guest artists will read aloud selected scenes from each play. Moderators will offer (in advance) ideas and or questions to think about while reading each play.

Series subscription is $20 and play bundles can be purchased from Vermont Book Shop at a 15% discount rate using coupon code THTAD. Purchasing plays by November 1st or earlier is recommended to receive prior to the first online event. Zoom details will be sent to all participants in advance of each play reading session.

As a professional theater company, MACo has a unique platform to tell stories that respond to current realities. And as theatre makers living in a predominately white state in a country shaped by racist systems, we feel called to create space where by listening and speaking with open hearts we can, “hold a mirror up to nature” and in so doing explore the consequences of our collective actions and hear voices that have been too easily ignored.
Melissa Lourie
Artistic Director, Middlebury Acting Company

The Plays

Sunday November 15: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom by August Wilson
Moderator: Francois Clemmons

Inspired by the real-life Gertrude “Ma” Rainey, This visceral American classic serves as the 1920s chapter of August Wilson’s epic American Century Cycle. What begins as a routine recording session becomes more strained as tensions rise between the members of a blues band and the owners of the recording studio. The white producers mean to exploit the talents of the band—especially the gifted and impulsive Levee—but when Ma insists on having things her way, tensions are enflamed and the play builds to an unexpected climax.

Sunday December 13: Spinning Into Butter by Rebecca Gilman
Moderator: Rebecca Strum

A crisis erupts at a small Vermont college when racist notes are posted on the dorm room door of one of the school’s few African-American students. Sarah Daniels, the newly-hired dean of students, races to defuse the whirlwind of emotions spun up by students and faculty, but before the play reaches its surprise ending, she and the other whites on campus must first confront their own conflicted feelings about race.

Sunday January 17: Sweat by Lynn Nottage
Moderator: Margo Whitcomb

Winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the play, based on  the playwright’s interviews with  residents of Reading, Pennsylvania tells the story of a group of close friends struggling to stay connected when their factory is at risk of collapse. When backed up against the wall and left with neither income nor hope, people sink into racism almost by reflex. The ramifications of humanity’s anger hangs over the play, yet Nottage hints at the power of forgiveness and redemption.

Sunday February 14: The Royale by Marco Ramirez
Moderator: Nicolas Caycedo

Charismatic African-American boxer Jay “The Sport” Jackson has a burning desire to become the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. Jackson’s fight begins long before the match, though; it takes careful negotiations to convince the white reigning titleholder to even recognize him as a worthy opponent and enter the ring. 

The play is about the life of the outsider in American culture. Set in 1905, deep in the midst of Jim Crow, it explores one man’s struggle while reflecting a much broader one. It is also a play about a brother and sister who protect each other but don’t agree on what that means.

Sunday March 14: Topdog/Underdog by Suzan-Lori Parks
Moderator: Ro Boddie

Two brothers, Lincoln and Booth, locked in a battle of wits as quick as their game of Three Card Monte, struggle to come to terms with their identity and what history has handed them, even their names. With her trademark explosive language in this powerful  2002 Pulitzer Prize winning play, Suzan Lori-Parks explores the deepest of connections, and what it means to be a family of man. The play was the number-one choice in last year’s New York Times list of “The 25 Best   American Plays Since Angels in America.”

Sunday April 11: The Niceties by Eleanor Burgess
Moderator: Bill Hart

Zoe, a black student at a liberal arts college, is called into her white professor’s office to discuss her paper about slavery’s effect on the American Revolution. What begins as a polite clash in perspectives explodes into an urgent debate about race, history, and power.

  • Venue Information

ONLINE EVENT

Register through Town Hall Theater

  • Box Office Information
  • Tickets

The American Dream Project

4 PM

11/15, 12/13, 2020

1/10, 2/14, 3/14, 4/11, 2021

Registration for the

Series     $20

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