In the tradition of Hamilton and Angels in America, a powerful, politically charged, dystopian drama that couldn't be more timely.
Written in a "white-hot fury" on the eve of the 2016 election, the stunning new play by Pulitzer Prize? and Tony Award?winning dramatist Robert Schenkkan is creating a nationwide sensation. Bypassing the usual development path for plays, it has been signed up to open in five theaters across America in a National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere, starting in Los Angeles (March) and Denver (April) and continuing in the Washington, DC, area, Tucson, and Miami, with more productions to follow, including in Santa Fe and New York City.
Building the Wall lays out in a harrowing drama the possible consequences of Donald Trump's anti-immigration campaign rhetoric turned into federal policy. Two years from now, that policy has resulted in the mass round-up of millions of illegal aliens, with their incarceration overflowing into private prisons and camps reminiscent of another century. The former warden for 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, and the faceless illegals under his charge became the face of tragedy. The play is accompanied by commentary from three prominent scholars: on the real purpose of the border wall, our dark nativist history of restricting immigration, and the tradition of political protest in art.
Robert Schenkkan is a playwright and screenwriter. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for The Kentucky Cycle and a Tony Award for Best Play for All the Way, which was also made into a multiple Emmy-nominated HBO movie starring Bryan Cranston. His most recent screenwriting credit is for Hacksaw Ridge, which was nominated for six Academy Awards. He lives in New York City.
Douglas S. Massey is the Henry G. Bryant Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs at Princeton University and Director of its Office of Population Research.
Julian E. Zelizer is a political historian at Princeton University and a fellow at New America. He is also a contributor to CNN, where he writes a weekly column and appears as a regular guest on television. His most recent book is The Fierce Urgency of Now: Lyndon Johnson, Congress, and the Battle for the Great Society (Penguin Press).
Timothy Patrick McCarthy is an award-winning scholar, educator, and activist. He holds a joint faculty appointment at Harvard University, where he is Director of Culture Change & Social Justice Initiatives at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government. The author or editor of four books from the New Press, including The Radical Reader and Prophets of Protest, Dr. McCarthy is the host and director of The A.R.T. of Human Rights, an ongoing public conversation series on art and politics co-sponsored by the Carr Center and at the American Repertory Theater.