By Carey Purcell
13 Mar 2014
The Real Americans begins performances March 13, and The Junket begins March 14; the productions run through April 20 at the Lynn Redgrave Theater.
"Mike Albo and Dan Hoyle are expert dramatists with compelling and uniquely American stories to tell," artistic director Allan Buchman said in a previous statement. "These two works — based on the author/performers' personal experiences — give us rare insight into 'the state of the union' from two wildly different points of view."
The Real Americans is written and performed by Dan Hoyle. Here's how the production is billed: "Escaping his hipster bubble in San Francisco, Dan Hoyle spent 100 days searching to bridge the divide between the liberal, achingly hip, moral-relativism of gentrified city life and the conservative, absolutist, often aggressive populism he found in small-town America. The Real Americans tells of Hoyle's time living out of his van and sleeping in backyards and parking lots, sharing meals and conversations with cowboys, Reaganite union coal miners in Appalachia, soldiers, rural drug dealers in the Mississippi Delta, itinerant preachers, creation theory experts in West Texas, and closeted gay fundamentalists. Hoyle sought to see the world through their eyes in search of country wisdom and a way to reconcile the divide between the Two Americas. Instead, he found himself at ground zero of our country's growing economic inequality and increasingly polarized politics."
The Real Americans is directed by Charlie Varon, who also developed it with Hoyle. It is presented in partnership with Marsha Garces Williams.
Written and performed by Mike Albo, The Junket is inspired by actual events. "In this hilarious, harrowing, thinly-veiled tale, a struggling writer (named, um, Mike Albo) gets a freelance gig to pen a column for the country's most influential newspaper," press notes state. "It's a dream come true, and after years of low pay, Albo thinks he may finally be able to afford NYC's new luxury loft lifestyle (he even gets a new stylish boyfriend). But after he goes on an over-the-top, ill-fated press junket, he becomes a gossip item on the city's snarkiest, meanest blog, and is thrown into an acrimonious war between old and new media. The Junket is a much needed investigation into the compromised state of modern journalism, provoking questions about how we get our news and who gives it to us."
The production is directed by David Schweizer and features video effects by Larry Shea.
Culture Project presents artistic work that "investigates urgent social and political issues. By fostering innovative collaboration between human rights organizations and theatre, music and film artists, Culture Project aims to inspire and impact public dialogue and policy, encouraging democratic participation in the most urgent matters of our time."