‘Building the Wall,’ Robert Schenkkan’s anti-Trump protest play, is one of L.A.’s hottest tickets

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Among his opposition, President Trump likely triggers daily episodes of anger, frustration and fear. But he also sells tickets.

“Building the Wall,” Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Schenkkan’s new political play written in response to what he calls Trump’s dangerous rhetoric and authoritarian tendencies, has become one of the best-selling shows in the 27-year history of the Fountain Theatre in Los Angeles, Artistic Director Stephen Sachs said.

The production has been selling out three weeks in advance, he said, and the Fountain announced Monday that it is extending the run through June 18 after originally planning to close May 21.


Times theater critic Charles McNulty described “Building the Wall” as an exploration of the banality of evil. Set in the near future, the Trump administration ratchets up the war against terrorism and permits the rounding up of immigrants, which leads to detention centers beset with managerial problems and inevitable human catastrophe.

The play does lapse into rhetoric, McNulty noted in his March 21 review, but “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.”

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Schenkkan won the 1992 Pulitzer for drama for “The Kentucky Cycle” and the 2014 Tony Award for best play for “All the Way.” His credits also include the 2016 film “Hacksaw Ridge.” The esteemed writer’s track record and his choice of subjects for this latest world premiere have led to news coverage from the New York Times, Washington Post and BBC News Hour.

“Building the Wall” is scheduled to open later this year in New York, Tucson and Denver, among other places. In Washington, D.C., a Forum Theatre production is set to begin performances April 27 in one of the Arena Stage’s three theaters.

“We hope it triggers a flurry of midnight tweets from the White House,” Sachs said. “That would be our most coveted review yet.”



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