In “Building the Wall,” coming to Bainbridge Performing Arts Friday, Feb. 9 through Sunday, Feb. 11, Pulitzer Prize-, Tony- and WGA-Award winner, and three-time Emmy-nominated playwright Robert Schenkkan imagines a not-so-distant future in which President Trump’s anti-immigration rhetoric has found full expression.
This dystopian drama from the playwright of “The Kentucky Cycle” is directed by Kate Carruthers, and stars Elena Flory-Barnes as “Gloria” and Chip Wood as “Rick.”
Written by Schenkkan in what he described as a “white-hot fury” on the eve of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, the play dramatizes in harrowing detail the possible consequences of Trump’s campaign rhetoric turned into federal policy.
Two years into the Trump presidency, that policy has resulted in the mass round-up of millions of illegal aliens, with their incarceration overflowing into private prisons and camps. The former warden of one facility is awaiting sentencing for what happened under his watch. In a riveting interview with a historian who has come seeking the truth, he gradually reveals how the unthinkable became the inevitable.
Island Treasure Awardee Carruthers’ previous credits include “August: Osage County,” “Amadeus,” “Snow Falling on Cedars,” The Kentucky Cycle,” “Distracted,” “Private Eyes,” and “The Philadelphia Story,” among others. She also directed “Much Ado About Nothing,” BPA’s fourth annual summertime Shakespeare performance at the Bloedel Reserve in 2016.
A Seattle native, Flory-Barnes was last seen on the BPA stage in “The Kentucky Cycle.” Her local credits include the role of Yvette in Book-It Repertory Theatre’s production of “Little Bee,” the part of Daisy in Theatre Schmeatre’s “In Arabia We’d All Be Kings” and Violet/Carrie in Seattle Immersive Theatre’s “Storyville Rising.”
Wood makes his BPA debut with this production and was last seen on the island as John Williamson in “Glengarry Glen Ross.” His most recent role was in “Evidence of Things Unseen” at Taproot Theatre, and he played Judge Roan in Sound Theatre’s Gregory-nominated production of “Parade” last year.
“Building the Wall” appears at BPA from Feb. 9 through Feb. 11, with shows at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 3 p.m. Sunday.
Tickets, $25 for adults, and $20 for seniors, students, youth, military, and teachers, may be purchased online at www.bainbridgeperformingarts.org, by phone at 206-842-8569 or in person at BPA.
Audience members will be invited to linger after each show for a post-performance talk-back with cast members, the director and outside experts including Althea Paulson, a retired attorney, now accredited by the Department of Justice to provide legal representation to immigrants through Kitsap Immigration Assistance Center, and Dr. Jacqueline Helfgott, a criminal psychologist and chair of Seattle University’s Criminal Justice Department.