Beginning tonight, and extending over these last few days running up to the Nov 4 presidential election, XX (eXtreme eXchange) and Georgetown University – are presenting their examinations, not of the candidates, but of the voters themselves.
The Race is a collaboration between Portland Oregon’s Sojourn Theatre and Michael Rohd’s class Ensemble Theater Practicum at Georgetown University. Professor Rohd is founding Artistic Director of Sojourn. “My company and I often work with research and civic dialogue as a method of development in the process of building performance. On a college campus in the nation’s capitol, public discourse about this election cycle is in no short supply. Our body of work, and the theatre traditions that have influenced us, led to a lot of strategies for dialogue while here at GU.”
The last year or so has been a theatrical goldmine for the production, Rohd continues. “Candidates have to tell the story they think we want to hear. We have to decide what role in the story we play, if any, beyond audience,” he says, “Are we participants in the messiness of democracy, or are we merely observers? How can a theater event ask this question, and other questions that invite us to consider what we want from a national conversation about leadership?
The Race is a three-act event. Act One is a performance that sets up the rules and questions for what follows. Act Two asks the questions- and uses interactive media and deceptively simple structures to involve the audience, and participants around the country, in the conversation. And Act Three mines completely different territory by marrying elements of a town hall meeting and a karaoke bar.
Derek Goldman, Director of Georgetown’s Theater and Performance Studies Program, who is collaborating with Professor Rohd on the project says, “What I value most about Michael and Sojourn Theatre’s work is their capacity to use the theatricality of live performance in innovative ways to engender substantive community engagement and dialogue. This cross-disciplinary, media-savvy work takes us beyond the familiar discourses we traffic in by giving all participants agency in experimenting with new ways of thinking about and expressing themselves in relation to the most pressing issues in our lives. ”
The Race plays from October 30-November 1 at 8 PM, November 2 at 2 PM, with a Special Election Night event on November 4, and November 5-8 at 8 PM, in the Gonda Theatre in the Davis Performing Arts Center – 108 Davis Performance Arts Center, NW in Washington, DC at 37th & O Streets. (click here for directions).
Tickets are $18 Saturdays and Sundays, $15 all other performances with discounts for students, senior and faculty, available by calling 202 687-ARTS, or visiting the website.
Rock the Voting Bloc is the latest edition from the playwrights collaborative eXtreme eXchange. “We’re so excited to add our artists’ voices to the conversation just before this all-important Presidential lection, said Patrick Bussink, of the eXtreme eXchange producing team. “Since our next President will be chosen by the undecided 10-15% of the country, we thought we’d focus this edition on some of those voters who don’t fall in lock-step with any one party or ideology, but represent that oh-so-hard-to-categorize middle of the political road. Our artists are sure to come up with an entertaining and provocative set of plays to spark a meaningful conversation just days before we all hit the polls.”
XX writers were assigned one of two voting blocs. The resulting evening of short one acts plays Saturday, Nov 1 at 8 pm, and Sunday, Nov 2 at 3 pm at Round House Silver Spring, 8641 Colesville Rd, Silver Spring. Tickets are $15. Click here to purchase.