For the past few weeks I have been collaborating with some remarkable artists on Robert Schenkkan’s BUILDING THE WALL. This timely, incendiary new play has received a Rolling World Premiere across the U.S. including an Off-Broadway production as well as a five-month run in Los Angeles. I am so pleased Stage Left is hosting the Chicago premiere to kick off our 36th Season.
Despite its title, this is a play - hopefully - of unification not division. Of finding a new way forward in the present moment. It's a story that contains people, places and events you will undoubtedly recognize, and likely have strong feelings about. But there is no villain in this play. Not on stage. As one of the characters, Gloria, puts it “it’s just ordinary people at a moment of decision.” It’s about people not unlike ourselves.
That is not to say that this play won't evoke a strong reaction, in fact I hope it's quite the opposite. And I hope you'll stick around and tell us why, talk to your seat mates about what you're feeling, and why you think you feel that way. Inciting debate is the core tenet of our mission at Stage Left. Rather than dividing us, I have always hoped that the spirit of debate could work to bring us together; to highlight our differences and ultimately foster empathy for one another.
So, with that in mind. I hope you’ll join us for BUILDING THE WALL as well as the other exciting events in our new home - the Athenaeum Theatre! I look forward to seeing you there.
-Amy Szerlong, Co-Artistic Director, BUILDING THE WALL director