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  • Writer's pictureJason Haskins

Alley Repertory Theater Kicks off 2016/17 Series with The Totalitarians

Updated: Jun 6

photo design by Kelly Lynae

"The Totalitarians is an arrow to America's corrupt political heart that grazes the funny bone along the way."

I first read this play back in May or June. I had never heard of it, wasn't even sure what it was about. I was house sitting and the play had been deposited through t mail slot. With nothing else to do and with Alley Repertory Theater currently looking for plays for the 2016-17 series, I grabbed the book and settled in.

Part political satire, part dark humor, with moments that hit entirely too close to home regarding this year's presidential political race, I knew immediately that we must do this play. I scribbled a quick note to Buffie Main, the theater's artistic director, who put the wheels in motion. She spoke with the board member who suggested the play (and saw it performed) and the company's managing director, Justin Ness. Both gave their seal of approval, with Ness deciding to direct the play.

And here we are.

I have been lucky enough to spend the last month working on this play as the assistant director and dramaturg. It has been nearly 15 months since I'd worked on a show. Working as a dramaturg has really become something I've enjoyed over the past three years. It started with Alley Rep's production of The Rocky Horror Show and has continued until now, with The Totalitarians the fifth show I've been a dramaturg on. This is also my third time assistant directing and my eye has now turned to directing a play in the near future.

The Totalitarians is a journey following the rise of an outlandish politician and her campaign manager. Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, the playwright, takes us from the beginning of the candidacy through it's meteoric rise, with dashes for farce thrown in. The meteoric rise is fought by the campaign manager's husband, a doctor who bands with a revolutionary who is dying of cancer.

We head into tech tomorrow and I cannot wait for people to see the hard work the cast and crew has been doing. The show is being held at Alley Repertory's home, the Visual Arts Collective in Garden City, Idaho. We open with a pay-what-you-want preview on October 13, with opening night on October 14. We look forward to seeing you there.

The Totalitarians runs Thursdays through Saturdays from October 13 through October 29, with a matinees performance on October 23.

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