44 Plays For 44 Presidents is a chronological, biographical survey of the lives and presidencies of each of the 44 men who have held the office so far, told in 2-minute plays dedicated to each of the 44 presidencies. Their mistakes and successes are celebrated by a company of actors who take turns donning a star-spangled coat that symbolizes the presidency. Beginning with George Washington’s almost Eden-like perfection, the scenes shift frequently between the comic and the tragic, from Ben Franklin giving Thomas Jefferson a Borscht Belt-style roast, to the frank portrayal of William Henry Harrison’s life as an “Indian slayer,” and later the grim onset of the Civil War. Act II starts off the twentieth century with the assassination of William McKinley, moves through a Nixon-praising dance number, a George Bush Sr. mini-musical about dirty campaigning, and arrives at a polarized America in both the George W. Bush and Barack Obama plays. Audience members consider their role in shaping the history they’ve just witnessed, as they are left to ponder where the presidency has gone since its fall from paradise…and where it will go next.
Emily K. Harrison is an actor, writer, director and producer living in Boulder, Colorado. Originally from the Piney Woods of East Texas, Emily is the founder and producing artistic director of Boulder-based, award-winning square product theatre. She holds an MFA in Performance from the Savannah College of Art & Design, a bachelor’s degree in Acting and Writing from Boston’s Emerson College and recently earned a PhD in theatre from the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Colorado in Boulder. Emily works as a collaborator with several other theatre companies and individuals, and teaches Acting at CU Boulder, in addition to serving as occassional faculty at Naropa University. Emily was recently recognized by the Denver Post as a 2011 Pathmaker. She is a big fan of hot dogs, summertime breezes, and Neko Case.
What: 44 Plays for 44 Presidents
When: 7:30 p.m., Thursday, October 18-20, 25 & 26, November 1-3
Where: The East Theater at the Dairy Center for the Arts
2590 Walnut St., Boulder, Colorado
Price: $20 general admission; $16 students/seniors with ID;