The Social Justice Team of Tree of Life Unitarian Universalist Congregation in McHenry is launching a new Arts in Resistance project -- Word Players, a readers' theater company to present interesting and challenging plays with social justice themes.
Under the direction of Patrick Murfin, the first effort will be "Chatting With the Tea Party" by Rich Orloff which will be presented on Friday, Nov. 10, at the church, 5603 Bull Valley Road in McHenry.
Originally written in 2012 and updated in 2016 for its New York Off-Broadway premier the play is more relevant than ever.
"Chatting With the Tea Party" is about one person's journey across America exploring the question, "Who are these people?"
It's a documentary style play about a New York liberal playwright who decides to travel around the country interviewing leaders of local Tea Party groups, to get to know people whose political beliefs are diametrically opposed to his. For a year, the playwright attended Tea Party meetings and events in cities large and small in every region of the country. The play shapes the highlights of over 63 hours of interviews plus notes from events the playwright attended to create a play that strives to go beyond sound bites and stereotypes to show the people behind the politics.
In a journey that's at times disturbing, humorous, moving, and always thought-provoking, the playwright discovers not only how and if he can affect the people he meets, but also how they may be influencing him.
The play requires a cast of four -- three men and a woman. One actor will play Rich, the questing playwright. The other three will take on multiple rolls of real people, public figures, and historical personages. As a readers' theater production, actors will work with scripts. No memorization is required, but a good familiarity and understanding of the material.
There will be one table reading and at least two and no more than three rehearsals. There will be limited blocking and the use of some props and costume elements.
They also are looking for volunteers to run sound and lighting and for light costume and prop support, as well as a stage manager.
Are you interested? Casting needs to be completed by Friday, Oct. 6. A .pdf or Word doc copy of the script can be sent to those who are interested. For details, contact Patrick Murfin at firstname.lastname@example.org or (815) 814-5645.