– by guest writer Kevin Finkelstein –
Washington, DC is the seat of political power in America. Within these 68 square miles, decisions are formed, mistakes are made, and policies are implemented, all of which affect every American citizen. Yet there is no professional theatre in Washington solely dedicated to government.
Enter the Federal Theatre Project (FTP). Founded in 2012, the FTP was conceived to raise political awareness and foster a sense of civic engagement. Citizens in this country are empowered by the constitution to affect political change and can do so by simpy posting a comment on the Washington Post website. We have no desire to wade the partisan waters of liberals and conservatives. Instead, our focus is on showing audiences that government works best when everyone contributes their voice.
In short, we’re not interested in telling audiences what to think. Our goal is to get them to think.
The FTP was formed to bring governance-based theatre back to DC. Like its namesake from FDR’s New Deal program, the FTP believes that money should never be an obstacle to seeing live theatre. Post-Fringe, we are planning to bring this premiere show to communities in underrepresented areas of Washington, DC.
Someone To Watch Over Me was conceived of as an explanation of the FTP’s mission. Once it became clear to me that the FTP could fill a void in DC theatre, we wanted to write a show that would encapsulate our mission. The first draft of the script was sent to about a dozen people across the country, and all of them wrote back to say that this was a story that should be told.
Someone is the story of a young woman who harnesses the power of social media in order to affect change at every level of government within America. Although the play takes place in 2016, the themes and messages within the play are applicable today. Over the last decade, social media has exploded and come to dominate many aspects of this country. This explosion of communication not only allows individuals to be in constant contact with each other, but it also gives the private sector unprecedented access to the consumer.
by Kevin Finkelstein
at Goethe Institut – Main Stage
812 7th Street NW
Washington, DC, 20001
Details and tickets
Despite all of these advances, the federal government (and many state governments) are slow to change. Call it bureaucratic inefficienty, or playing politics, or just plain old resistence, governments by and large are simply not includes to adjust their “world view” in light of the Information Age.
Someone is a show that has something for just about everyone: Humor, social commentary, live music, and six of the best actors in the Capital Fringe Festival. In true Fringe fashion, our production is on the minimalist side, preferring to allow the actors to drive the show. We’re also very fortunate to be at the Goethe-Institut, where we can include multimedia projection in the show (and we do!)
If you’d like to learn more about the Federal Theatre Project and Someone To Watch Over Me, we encourage you to visit our website. You can read more about the play and those involved, as well as sign our pledge to bring efficiency back to government.
We hope you’ll join us this July for the inaugural production of the Federal Theatre Project: Someone To Watch Over Me, featuring Robin Covington, Genna Davidson, Stefanie Garcia, Paul McLane, Thony Mena and Paul Thomas Truitt.
Presented as part of the 2013 Capital Fringe Festival, a program of the Washington, D.C. non-profit Capital Fringe.
Fringe Peeks is part of our ‘in their own words’ series.