Timely as Today's Election Headlines, War Party Begins in Philly Oct. 24

News   Timely as Today's Election Headlines, War Party Begins in Philly Oct. 24 InterAct Theatre Company in Philadelphia presents the East Coast premiere of Vincent Delaney's satire The War Party, a peek into one woman's navigation through today's political battlefield.
Meghan Heimbecker
Meghan Heimbecker Photo by Chris Macke

Performances play Oct. 24-Nov. 23. The Rebecca Wright-directed production opens Oct. 29.

In an American political year when Hillary Clinton lost her bid for the presidential nomination and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is the much-maligned Vice Presidential Republican candidate, The War Party, InterAct points out, "is a play unprecedented in its timeliness."

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The play had its world premiere in September at the Seattle Public Theater and was written before women were major candidates (or hopeful candidates) in the 2008 U.S. presidential race. The work is billed as a "humorously insightful look at the private turmoil within the public life of a modern politician." It features "food fights, women kissing and the undeniably rousing force of FDR."

Susan Wilder and Tim Moyer

The War Party opens as conservative Republican Laura Smith has lost her senatorial re-election bid — by a landslide. Deserted, depressed, and getting drunk, she is interrupted by Jessie, one of her loyal and spunky interns, who wrestles her back from the brink of political and personal demise. The ghost of Franklin Delano Roosevelt helps her examine today's two-party political system and "question why a politician's personal convictions must so often be set aside in order to successfully tow their party's line." The Philly production will feature Susan Wilder as Laura Smith, Meghan Heimbecker as Jessie and InterAct veteran Tim Moyer as Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The design team includes set design by Dirk Durossett, costume design by Susan Smythe, lighting design by Maria Shaplin, sound design by Chris Colucci and props by Amanda Hatch. Stage manager is Joshua Lieberman, Kia Feindt is assistant stage manager, Jessica Hurley is assistant director, and Britt Plunkett is technical director.

Delaney is author of many plays including The Art of Bad Men, Three Screams, Writer 1272 and Kuwait, which won the Heideman Award from Actors Theatre of Louisville and the New Play Award from Sonoma Rep. Delaney's plays have been produced, commissioned and developed at the Guthrie, Cleveland Playhouse, ACT, Children's Theatre Company, the Humana Festival, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Magic Theatre, Woolly Mammoth, Empty Space, PlayLabs, Seattle Public, New Harmony Project, Pittsburgh Public, Florida Stage, InterAct Theatre Company and Orlando Shakespeare Festival, among others. The Sequence, commissioned by the Guthrie, has been produced around the country and in the UK. Acceleration Red won the Lamia Ink contest and was produced by Harrogate Theatre and Brooklyn College. He is the recipient of a Bush Fellowship, a McKnight Fellowship, a Jerome Commission, the Apsey Award, the Nathan Miller Award and a grant from the Seattle Arts Commission. His work is published by Smith and Kraus, Heineman, Samuel French, Dramatics Magazine and Playscripts.com. He is a Core Writer at the Playwrights Center.

Performances play the Mainstage of The Adrienne, 2030 Sansom St., Philadelphia, PA. For more information visit www.interacttheatre.org or call (215) 568-8079.

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Founded in 1988, InterAct is a theatre for today's world, producing new and contemporary plays "that explore the social, political, and cultural issues of our time." InterAct's aim is to educate, as well as entertain, its audiences, "by producing world-class, thought-provoking productions, and by using theatre as a tool to foster positive social change. Through its artistic and educational programs, InterAct seeks to make a significant contribution to the cultural life of Philadelphia and to the American theatre."

To date, InterAct has presented 64 main stage productions, including 25 world premieres, two U.S. premieres, and more than 30 Philadelphia premieres. The company has received 37 Barrymore Award nominations and 12 Awards.