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City Theatre and Adrienne Arsht Center present

Building the Wall

  • Building the Wall

"A tour-de-force!”
Broadway World

“A must see!”
TimeOut Los Angeles
A scorcher of a play with gripping storytelling.” - Variety
Urgent and powerful theater.” - Hollywood Reporter
What Schenkkan has to say must be heard.” - DC Theater Scene
“Superb!” Daily News 
"Schenkkan methodically walks us through a series of policy initiatives and plausible public catastrophes to cook up a gruesome dystopia akin to the 20th and 21st century's cruelest atrocities...this ultrafast dramatic response sets a constructive precedent for writers, producers and audiences.Washington Post
“Remarkable! Compelling!” KCRW
"MAGNIFICENT! Building the Wall should be seen and shuddered over, if only to heighten our collective vigilance. The theater historically has provided a forum for citizens to contemplate the agonizing issues of the day, and it's heartening to see Schenkkan and the Fountain respond with such celerity to present dangers." - Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times 
"MESMERIZING! Simmers with of-the-moment urgency. A cautionary tale, but more importantly, a call to action." - The Hollywood Reporter 
"GRIPPING! Timely and relevant." - LA Splash 
"ONE HELL OF A SCARY PLAY! Topical and theoretically accurate...a necessary wake-up call." - Edge Media Network 
"A DYSTOPIAN VISION! Schenkkan executes his tale skillfully, Michael Michetti has cast and directed it well, and the two actors perform superbly." - Stage Raw
  • Run Time: 80 minutes
  • Intermissions: None
  • Parental Guide: Ages 16+

The Adrienne Arsht Center provides this information to help you make informed decisions when bringing young people to performances. These are recommendations – you are the expert in deciding what your children should see and know best how to help them enjoy their theatergoing experience. Every guest, regardless of age, must have a ticket; babies-in-arms are not admitted to any performance.

Thursday, September 21 - Sunday, October 8



“A tour-de-force!” Broadway World

“A must-see show!”   New York Times


"Urgent and powerful theater." Hollywood Reporter


NNPN Rolling World Premiere of Building the Wall – the newest play by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning playwright Robert Schenkkan (The Kentucky Cycle, All the Way, Hacksaw Ridge), directed by City Theatre Artistic Director Margaret Ledford.

Written immediately prior to the recent presidential election, inspired by Candidate Donald Trump and his anti-immigration campaign rhetoric, Building the Wall reveals a scenario of how campaign promises made law might lead to a terrifying, seemingly inconceivable, yet inevitable conclusion.

It's the very near future and the Trump administration carries out its promise to round up and detain millions of immigrants. With martial law declared and increased ICE and Homeland Security arrests, rapid expansions in the private detention system are quickly overwhelmed with detainees awaiting deportation. Rick, a detention center supervisor abandoned by his supervisors as the situation deteriorates into chaos and death, is interviewed by Gloria, a historian curious to understand his side of the story, while he awaits sentencing for carrying out the federal policy that escalated into the unimaginable.

This riveting, harrowing and illuminating drama delivers a powerful warning and puts a human face on the inhuman, revealing how the inconceivable becomes inevitable when personal accountability is denied.

National New Play Network (NNPN) is the country’s alliance of non-profit professional theaters dedicated to the development, production, and continued life of new plays. Since its founding in 1998, NNPN has supported more than 200 productions nationwide through its innovative National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere program, which provides playwright and production support for new works at its Member theaters. Additional programs - its annual National Conference, National Showcase of New Plays, and MFA Playwrights Workshop; the NNPN Annual and Smith Prize commissions; its residencies for playwrights, producers and directors; and the organization’s member accessed Collaboration, Festival, and Travel banks and online information sessions - have helped cement the Network’s position as a vital force in the new play landscape. NNPN also strives to pioneer, implement, and disseminate ideas and programs that revolutionize the way theaters collaborate to support new plays and playwrights. Its most recent project, the New Play Exchange, is changing the way playwrights share their work and others discover it by providing immediate access to information on more than 9,500 new plays by living writers. NNPN’s 30 Core and more than 75 Associate Members - along with the more than 150 affiliated artists who are its alumni, the thousands of artists and artisans employed annually by its member theaters, and the hundreds of thousands of audience members who see its supported works each year - are creating the new American theater. |

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