Obama's America put under the microscope

Wandsworth Guardian: What is life like in Obama's America? What is life like in Obama's America?

In 2008, Barack Obama surged to a historic election victory thanks to a groundswell of popular support. His campaign appealed to the hopes of a generation.

Six years later, as his presidency enters its final years, Over Here Theatre Company and Theatre 503 present a two-week festival of new American plays about life in Obama’s America.

Greg Wilford spoke to director Lydia Parker.

Greg Wilford: How did the idea for this festival originate?

Lydia Parker: I’m originally from the US, but I’ve lived in the UK for 14 years, so I haven’t actually been in America since Obama became president. I was curious to see what life was like there, what Americans thought of him, and I thought it would make a great idea for a festival.

 

GW: This production has been partly funded by Kickstarter. Was that always your intention?

LP: I’ve never done Kickstarter before, but I decided to give it a go. We finally reached our target with 67 minutes left to go. It was a real surprise to get total strangers supporting us.

 

GW: Some of the playwrights have written for US network television and HBO. Was it hard to get those people involved?

LP: Not really. When I was looking for submissions I contacted literary agents in America and the playwrights association in New York, and we got lots of volunteers. Charles Evered wrote his piece specifically for the show.

 

GW: Do you think Obama’s administration is as ripe for satire as George Bush’s was?

LP: It’s not really all satire; it’s more of a balanced show. Because Obama is so intelligent and well-spoken, people think he’s made mistakes, but they’re worried that he’s signed off things like the NSA and drone strikes. Some of the plays reflect the good things that have happened while he’s been in office, like Obamacare. We just tried to choose the best-written plays, and quite often they tend to be the critical ones.

 

GW: How do you think Obama will be remembered once he’s left office?

LP: I think he’ll be remembered very positively. He’s been called a socialist by Republicans who oppose Obamacare, but he’s for the people.

 

Theatre 503, the Latchmere, 503 Battersea Park Road, Battersea; June 3 to 14, Tuesday-Saturday 7.45pm, Sunday 5pm; £12;  theatre503.com, 020 7978 7040

Comments (2)

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5:48pm Sat 31 May 14

DaftAida says...

Ask Guantanamo Bay inmates what they think of Obama (real name Barry Soetoro) ask the raped children and men of Iraq and Afghanistan what they think of Soetoro and his manshe 'Mick' Michelle 'Obama'. Ask anyone with open eyes what these criminal effluential cabalasts are doing to humanity. Like we need a threatre show to 'celebrate' another puppet of the regime.
Ask Guantanamo Bay inmates what they think of Obama (real name Barry Soetoro) ask the raped children and men of Iraq and Afghanistan what they think of Soetoro and his manshe 'Mick' Michelle 'Obama'. Ask anyone with open eyes what these criminal effluential cabalasts are doing to humanity. Like we need a threatre show to 'celebrate' another puppet of the regime. DaftAida
  • Score: 0

6:04am Sun 1 Jun 14

Expatasb says...

It's a sad reflection on the stupidity of the American voter. While America has been in a steady decline during the 24 years I have lived there, this has become precipitous under the Obama administration, with record numbers of people dropping out of the workforce, increasing numbers living on food stamps and a horrible business climate reminiscent of Britain in the 70's. Not to mention the fact that the world is less safe than it has been snce the height of the 'cold war'.
This is a joke president imposed on a dumbed down population. I fear that this time , the 'sleeping giant' might not wake up until it's too late!
It's a sad reflection on the stupidity of the American voter. While America has been in a steady decline during the 24 years I have lived there, this has become precipitous under the Obama administration, with record numbers of people dropping out of the workforce, increasing numbers living on food stamps and a horrible business climate reminiscent of Britain in the 70's. Not to mention the fact that the world is less safe than it has been snce the height of the 'cold war'. This is a joke president imposed on a dumbed down population. I fear that this time , the 'sleeping giant' might not wake up until it's too late! Expatasb
  • Score: 0

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