|Phillip Herrington and De Angelus Grisby|
photo courtesy iTheatre Collaborative
Click here for more information on this production that runs through November 4th.
"Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner Robert Schenkkan's political drama Building the Wall dramatizes the ill-fated events that can happen when the leader of a country is able to rally his followers to accept his campaign promises and take action on their own to implement them. The fact that the play is set in Texas in 2019, the leader is Donald Trump, and the result of the actions that one of his supporters takes has incredibly unfortunate circumstances makes for both a timely story and also a cautionary tale with horrifying prospects. iTheatre Collaborative's production is well cast and directed. This is a riveting drama that is both highly impactful and incredibly relevant.
...Rick, an inmate in a high security prison in El Paso, Texas, allows Gloria, a college professor, to visit him so she can document the truth and the complete story of why Rick did what he did. Schenkkan slowly and meticulously lets pieces of Rick's past unfold as the events and sickening conclusion of his crime are revealed. Through well-written dialogue that interweaves snippets of Trump's well-known stump speeches and future fictionalized events, Schenkkan creates three-dimensional characters and situations that provide Rick with realistic rationalizations for his behavior. ..Rosemary Close's direction provides a heightened sense of realism in the piece with staging that is natural and multi-layered, and authentic, dynamic performances from her cast. As Rick, Phillip Herrington achieves a perfect balance between the man who you believe feels sorry for what he did, but also an individual, just like Trump, who found himself in a position of power, even if he wasn't truly qualified for the role, and who feels he did what was necessary under the circumstances. ...
De Angelus Grisby makes Gloria an inquisitive woman who is both cautiously observing Rick while also finding ways to poke and prod him in order to get him to reveal parts of his past to help better explain his actions....through her passionate performance she also makes Gloria somewhat empathetic to his circumstances. ...To many people it is still a shock that Trump is in the White House. Building the Wall helps better understand how that happened while also providing a warning as to the potential horrific impact a Trump presidency can have. iTheatre's production makes for an edge of your seat thriller with an ending that you pray never comes true.. " -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)