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InterAct Theatre Company

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Philadelphia's InterAct Theatre Company Premieres New Lee Blessing Drama That Imagines George W. Bush on Trial for War Crimes

Beginning Friday, April 9, 2010, InterAct Theatre Company produces the World Premiere of Pulitzer Prize- and Tony-nominated playwright Lee Blessing's latest drama, "When We Go Upon The Sea." Set on the night before George W. Bush is to go on trial at The Hague for international war crimes, "When We Go Upon The Sea" is a thoughtful and introspective look at the mind and heart of a man trying to reconcile his personal beliefs, his presidential decisions, and his tarnished public image.

Philadelphia, PA, March 24, 2010 --( Commissioned by InterAct in 2008 through its 20/20 New Play Commission program, "When We Go Upon The Sea" is a provocative new play by Tony Award nominee Lee Blessing, playwright of "A Walk In The Woods," "Whores," and "Going To St. Ives." Set in a high-end hotel room at The Hague, "When We Go Upon The Sea" imagines former President George W. Bush on the eve of his trial for international war crimes. Tended to by an inscrutable Dutch butler and an alluring masseuse, the President embarks on a long night of drinking, joking, and ruminating, taking the audience through a deep exploration of how we regard our leaders - loving them, fearing them, unintentionally deifying them. "When We Go Upon The Sea" examines an American populace that has grown strikingly complacent in the wake of extraordinary global challenges, exposing one of the world’s most intriguing and influential conflicts: the battle between the elected leader of the free world and a democracy of millions.

In an interview with InterAct’s Literary Director, Rebecca Wright, playwright Lee Blessing explains what inspired him to take on George W. Bush as the subject of "When We Go Upon The Sea": “The idea for this play came to me in the last year of the ‘W.’ presidency. [Regarding the fact that] ‘W.’ is now out of office and officially off our current radar, I’d say this: I’m not concerned with trying to keep up with the ‘news cycle’ mentality enforced by the media. Americans have been cajoled into the bad habit of turning the page too quickly on recent history. We seem to enjoy being in a rush towards making the same mistakes again as soon as possible… The central issue of this play, the relationship of the governed to those who govern them, is an eternal one. …I wrote this play not because ‘W.’ was our President. I wrote it because he’ll be President again. He’ll have a different name, but make no mistake - it’ll be him. Our inclination to forget what our politicians did to us and ‘move on’ is what every politician counts on.”

Directed by Paul Meshejian (InterAct’s "Last Of The Boys" and "Since Africa;" Artistic Director of PlayPenn), "When We Go Upon The Sea" features Conan McCarty as George W. Bush (Broadway: "Macbeth," "A Few Good Men"), Kim Carson as Anna Lisa (Azuka Theatre's "Hedwig & The Angry Inch;" Philadelphia Theatre Company’s "Grey Gardens"), and Peter Schmitz as Peit (InterAct’s "Jihad Jones & The Kalashnikov Babes," Walnut Street Theatre’s "Hairspray" and "Les Miserables").

"When We Go Upon The Sea" was commissioned by InterAct Theatre Company in honor of Cari Feiler Bender by her friends and family. It is the second play to come out of InterAct’s 20/20 New Play Commission program and receive a full production in InterAct’s mainstage season. Established in 2008 to celebrate InterAct’s 20th Anniversary season, the 20/20 New Play Commission program is an ambitious initiative with the goal of awarding twenty new play commissions over a period of six seasons to playwrights who are addressing the issues society will face over the next twenty years.

"When We Go Upon The Sea" runs April 9 – May 9, 2010, on InterAct’s home on the Mainstage of The Adrienne, 2030 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA. Tickets are $16.00 - $29.00, with discounts available for groups (of 10 or more), seniors (65 and older), and students (with valid I.D.). Tickets may be purchased by calling InterAct’s box office at 215-568-8079, visiting InterAct’s website or by dropping by InterAct’s offices at The Adrienne, 2030 Sansom St., Philadelphia.

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. To date, InterAct has presented 69 mainstage productions, including 29 world premieres, 2 U.S. premieres, and more than 30 Philadelphia premieres. The company has received 43 Barrymore Award nominations and 16 awards. InterAct's mainstage productions have provided work for over 500 Philadelphia artists.

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InterAct Theatre Company
David Golston, Director of Marketing & PR
(215) 568-8077

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