Saturday, September 23, 2017

Tree of Life UU Congregation’s new Word Players to Present Chatting With the Tea Party—Casting Call

The Social Justice Team of Tree of Life Unitarian Universalist Congregation is launching a new Arts in Resistance projectWord Players, a readers’ theater company to present interesting and challenging plays with social justice themes.  Under the direction of Patrick Murfin our first effort will be Chatting With the Tea Party by Rich Orloff which will be presented on Friday, November 10 at the church, 5603 Bull Valley Road in McHenry.

Originally written in 2012 and updated in 2016 for its New York Off-Broadway premier the play is more relevant than ever. 

The playwright, Richard Orloff.

Chatting With the Tea Party is about one person’s journey across America exploring the question, “Who are these people?”It’s a documentary style play about a New York liberal playwright who decides to travel around the country interviewing leaders of local Tea Party groups, to get to know people whose political beliefs are diametrically opposed to his.  For a year the playwright attended Tea Party meetings and events in cities large and small in every region of the country. The play shapes the highlights of over 63 hours of interviews plus notes from events the playwright attended to create a play that strives to go beyond soundbites and stereotypes to show the people behind the politics. In a journey that’s at times disturbing, humorous, moving, and always thought-provoking, the playwright discovers not only how and if he can affect the people he meets, but also how they may be influencing him.

The play requires a cast of fourthree men and a woman.  One actor will play Rich, the questing playwright.  The other three will take on multiple rolls of real people, public figures, and historical personages.   As a readers’ theater production, actors will work with scripts.  No memorization is required, but a good familiarity and understanding of the material.

The cast of the recent New York production of Chatting With the Tea Party, Maribeth Graham, Richard Kent Green, John E. Brady, and Jeffrey C. Wolf.

We will require one table reading and at least two and no more than three rehearsals.  There will be limited blocking and the use of some props and costume elements.

We are also looking for volunteers to run sound and lighting and for light costume and prop support.  In our dreams, maybe even a stage manager!

Interested?  Casting needs to be completed by October 6.  I can send a .pdf or Word doc copy of the script to those who are interested.  Contact Patrick Murfin at or 815 814-5645.

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