The NNPN Rolling World Premiere of BUILDING THE WALL by Robert Schenkkan Receives Critical Acclaim as it Rolls Into Denver
Washington, D.C. - National New Play Network, the country's alliance of nonprofit theaters that champions the development, production, and continued life of new plays, celebrates the initial success of the Rolling World Premiere of Building the Wall by Robert Schenkkan as Curious Theatre Company prepares to open its production on April 4. The latest play from the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning playwright is on a Roll, with the support of Paul Prokop, through Core Members Fountain Theatre (Los Angeles, CA; March 18-May 21, 2017), Curious Theatre Company (Denver, CO; April 4-19, 2017), and Borderlands Theater (Tucson, AZ; September 27-October 15), as well as Associate Members Forum Theatre (Washington, DC; April 27-May 27, 2017) and City Theatre (Miami, FL; September 20-October 8, 2017).
Highlights from press coverage of Fountain Theatre’s production include:
“’Building the Wall’ should be seen and shuddered over, if only to heighten our collective vigilance. The theater historically has provided a forum for citizens to contemplate the agonizing issues of the day, and it’s heartening to see Schenkkan and the Fountain respond with such celerity to present dangers.”
Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times
“A Trump supporter might watch Building the Wall and see a case of liberal hysteria from a coastal snowflake, forecasting doom and gloom just because his candidate didn’t win…But although it simmers with of-the-moment urgency, it logically illustrates, step by step, how fascism can gradually take root among people who abhor it.”
Jordan Riefe, The Hollywood Reporter
“It’s not necessary to accept that Nazi-like death camps are right around the corner. The point is to consider what small roles faceless, nameless people are performing every day that construct a mass mentality of indifference to suffering. That is the “wall” in this play, not so much a physical structure along the Mexican border, but an impermeable barrier between human beings that blocks all empathy...See it while you can.”
Eric A. Gordon, People’s World
In an NNPN Rolling World Premiere, the Network provides production support to the playwright and the partnering theaters, including assistance with the creation and the contracting of the premiere agreement, collaborative interactions between the theaters, and travel and housing funds for the playwright to further develop the play in each city.
ABOUT BUILDING THE WALL
It’s the very near future, and 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.
ABOUT ROBERT SCHENKKAN
In 2014, All The Way, Part One of his “LBJ Plays,” won the Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics, Drama League, Kennedy Prize, and the ATCA/Steinberg Awards for Best Play and broke two Broadway box office records. Robert has since adapted All The Way as a feature film for HBO, produced by Steven Spielberg and starring Bryan Cranston. Robert’s previous Broadway experience was the Pulitzer Prize-winning epic, The Kentucky Cycle, which also won the LA Drama Critics Award, and was nominated for the Tony, Drama Desk, and the Outer Critics’ Circle Awards. Other plays include Hanussen (2017 Denver Summit Theater Festival), Shadowplay, Lewis and Clark Reach the Euphrates, By the Rivers of Babylon, Handler, The Marriage of Miss Hollywood and King Neptune, Heaven on Earth, Tachinoki, Final Passages, The Devil and Daniel Webster, The Dream Thief, A Single Shard, and The Great Society, Part Two of the LBJ Plays, anticipated in New York in 2018. His musical, The Twelve, had its world premiere in Denver in 2015 andwon the Henry Award for Best New Play/Musical. Films: Hacksaw Ridge (2016. Nominated for 6 Academy Awards); The Quiet American. Television: Robert was nominated for two Emmys and won a WGA Award for his work on the HBO/Tom Hanks/Steven Spielberg miniseries, The Pacific. Other television work includes: The Andromeda Strain, Crazy Horse, and Spartacus. robertschenkkan.com
ABOUT CURIOUS THEATRE COMPANY
The mission of Curious Theatre Company is to engage the community in important contemporary issues through provocative modern theatre. Now celebrating 20 years of bringing thought-provoking theatre to Denver, Curious Theatre Company’s rich history showcases our commitment to playwrights with gutsy things to say. Over the last ten years, 66% of Curious plays have been written by playwrights of color, LGBTQ playwrights, or female playwrights – an unparalleled distinction in our region. We are proud to produce plays that challenge and enrich our lives through different viewpoints and storytelling styles. Curious has been named Best Theatre Season by Westword seven times and was honored four times with Best Year by a Theatre Company by the former Denver Post Ovation Awards. Our incredible Company and the artists who work with us have earned hundreds of awards through their tireless effort to bring relevant, contemporary theatre to the Front Range. “No guts, no story” embodies the ethos of Curious Theatre Company. Established in 1997 by a vanguard Artistic Company that has since grown to 27 professional actors, designers, and directors at its core, Curious brings the best new theatre to Denver, producing thought-provoking plays designed to challenge ideas, stir emotions, and leave audiences thinking and talking for days. curioustheatre.org
ABOUT FOUNTAIN THEATRE
The Fountain Theatre is one of the most successful intimate theaters in Los Angeles, providing a creative home for multi-ethnic theater and dance artists. The Fountain has won over 225 awards, and Fountain projects have been seen across the U.S. and internationally. Recent highlights include being honored for its acclaimed 25th Anniversary Season in 2015 by Mayor Eric Garcetti and the Los Angeles City Council; the 2014 Ovation Award for Best Season and the 2014 BEST Award for overall excellence from the Biller Foundation; the inclusion of the Fountain’s Citizen: An American Lyric in Center Theatre Group’s upcoming Block Party at the Kirk Douglas Theatre; and the naming of seven Fountain productions in a row as “Critic's Choice” in the Los Angeles Times. fountaintheatre.com