Home Features New Play ‘Building The Wall’ Reveals a ‘Terrifying Scenario’

New Play ‘Building The Wall’ Reveals a ‘Terrifying Scenario’

City Theatre and the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County are proud to present the South Florida premiere of “Building The Wall,” a National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere written by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning playwright Robert Schenkkan (The Kentucky Cycle, All the Way, Hacksaw Ridge). Local award-winning actors Gregg Weiner and Karen Stephens have been cast for the Miami production directed by City Theatre Artistic Director Margaret M. Ledford. “Building The Wall,” will be playing September 23 – October 8 in the intimate Carnival Studio Theater (Ziff Ballet Opera House).

Written by Robert Schenkkan immediately prior to the recent presidential election and 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.


The drama is set in the very near future, after the election, as a Trump administration carries out its promise to round up and detain millions of immigrants, following a terrorist attack in Times Square. With martial law declared and increased arrests by Homeland Security and ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), rapid expansions in the private detention system are quickly overwhelmed with detainees awaiting deportation to home countries refusing to accept them. Rick (Gregg Weiner), a detention center supervisor abandoned by his supervisors as the situation deteriorates into chaos and death, is interviewed by Gloria (Karen Stephens), 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.

Mr. Schenkkan and the Rolling World Premiere partner theaters producing “Building The Wall,”  have received international attention in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and on the BBC Newshour for their rapid artistic response to the current administration and the political climate it foments.

As the other theater’s presenting this play have offered during their productions, following certain performances City Theatre and the Arsht Center will host a series of post-show talks with experts, grassroots leaders, universities and other institutions to explore aspects of the play and provide opportunities for community education and engagement. A schedule of topics, speakers and moderators will be announced soon.

Tickets to “Building The Wall,” are $34, $39, $44 & $54*. Tickets are available now and may be purchased through the Adrienne Arsht Center Box Office by calling (305) 949-6722, or online at arshtcenter.org. Select performances will offer American Sign Language interpreters and devices that translate the play into Spanish and Creole.


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