Sunday, July 23, 2017

BUILDING THE WALL by Carol Kaufman Segal
            Building the Wall, a play written by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award- winning playwright Robert Schenkkan, is one of the most successful productions in Los Angeles this season.  Having opened in March of this year at the Fountain Theatre in Hollywood, it has been extended a number of times, now scheduled to close August 27.  It is directed by Michael Michetti.
            What is this wondrous play, one might ask?  It features only two characters, it is not fast-moving, it is not exciting, there is no plot, and it might even be uncomfortable to watch.  However, it offers an important message, and perhaps, a warning as to what can take place anywhere in today’s society if we allow it.           
                Schenkkan has written this play to wake people up as to an occurrence that may seem unimaginable, but then again, maybe not.  We are looking at the future when President Trump has followed through on his campaign promise to amass and lock up millions of immigrants.  In the confines of a special room in a prison, we find Rick (Bo Foxworth), a former supervisor of a private prison, who is now a prisoner himself.  He is being interviewed by Gloria (Victoria Platt), a journalist who seeking the answers as to what prompted Rick’s incarceration.            
            As Rick reveals the shocking information that occurred in the private prison, due to the inability to cope with the numbers of “prisoners”, it is almost too much to perceive.  Yet, when one thinks back to World War II, and what took place in a country where no one seemed  to notice what was happening, or show concern, perhaps it is not as inconceivable as we might think.
            Building the Wall is not your usual play and not the easiest to watch.  It was written by Shenkkan to alert us, as citizens, to be aware of what could happen and that we need to do something about it.  His message is “To those who say that could never happen here in this country, I reply, maybe so, but that of course will depend entirely on what you do.”
            The Fountain Theatre is located at 5060 Fountain Blvd. in Los Angeles.  For a schedule of performances and/or to purchase tickets, call the box office at (323) 663-1525, or go online at  There will be participating audience discussions following some of the  performances.


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