Katie Palmer and Paul Bedard of “The Debates”

Theater in Asylum presents The DebatesTheater = Politics = Theater = Politics

If you’ve seen that equation on a t-shirt around the independent theatre world in NYC of late, then you’ve seen someone who’s worked on or seen Theater in Asylum‘s ever-changing The Debates.

It’s the perfect slogan for a project theatricalizing the Democratic Presidential Primary debates, with the intent to bring theatre people to the political process, and political people into the theater—and it sounds like the project is doing its intended work.

GSAS! sat down with the show’s director, Paul Bedard, and choreographer, Katie Palmer, to discuss how they trained their team, how to balance a scene, how to handle material that’s moving so quickly, why they’re focusing on only the Democratic Party, the actual differences between Hillary and Bernie (and how to present them fairly), and “who am I, who are you, who are we.”

I think one of the reasons people stay out is that it seems like such a big thing, that if, “I’m not in it already, it’s just too much to learn, and I don’t want to get involved.” And I think people stay away from theaters for the same reason…”I couldn’t possibly understand what’s happening in this theater”…and I think we’ve tried to take the fear and the elitism out of both of those avenues, saying that, “you can engage in both things, here’s some helpful tools…”

Theater in Asylum presents

The Debates

conceived and directed by Paul Bedard
choreographed by Katie Palmer
dramaturgical team lead by Samantha Keogh
lighting designed and production managed by Dan Stearns
sound design and original compositions by Adrian Bridges
assistant directed and video designed by Jake Beckhard, Julia Levine, and Blake Sugarman

created by Leah Alfieri, Laura Aristovulos, Jessie Atkinson, Jake Beckhard, Erin Borain, Adrian Bridges, Kayla Catan, Matt Clemons*, Farrah Crane, Calandra Daby, Maria DeCotis, Sarah Eismann, Jeevan D’Souza, Yonit Friedman, Amanda Ghosh, Esther Yumi Ko, Joe Marx, Camara McLaughlin, Kate McMorran, Lucy Myrtue, Zach Stephens, Blake Sugarman, Griffin Taylor, Luke Taylor, Christopher Torres, and Kelly Webb

NY Primary Performance
April 18–19, 2016

The Kraine Theatre
85 E. 4th Street

tickets: FREE, first-come, first-served (or reserve in advance for $10–$18 via artful.ly)

Theater in Asylum presents The Debates Theater in Asylum presents The Debates Theater in Asylum presents The Debatesphotos courtesy Theater in Asylum

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