#RIFT: A Bold New Play Over Text Message
A Bold and Unique Theatrical Experience in Three Parts
Two real-life brothers—one a convicted murderer, the other a playwright; a member of the alt-right versus an A.O.C. type progressive. Join playwright Gabriel Jason Dean in exploring the ideological divide in America and asking, "Is love enough?"
#RIFT is a three-part project exploring whether it is possible to bridge fundamental political divides.
The first phase is a virtual experience: a durational play delivered over text message. Playwright Gabriel Jason Dean, familiar to Luna audiences as the writer of 2019’s Heartland, is investigating a deeply personal landscape.
Dean’s brother is a currently-incarcerated member of the alt-right, and the two had barely spoken in 10 years. In creating this piece, Dean reconnected with his brother to explore the roots of their ideological differences and see if there was any way to find common ground, and to try to understand what love means in this context.
In addition to receiving a fictionalized account of Dean’s correspondence with his brother, audience members will be encouraged to reach out across divides that seem unbridgeable in their own lives, and to share the experiences of those interactions with the artistic team via a virtual platform. We hope to integrate some of our audience reflections about rifts in their own lives into the design of the final chapter of this experience, a play that will be performed live and live-streamed.
We believe that this deep and ongoing engagement with the creative process will allow audience and artists to become collaborative partners, grappling together with how we understand our past and imagine our future.
#RIFT is supported by the Venturous Theater Fund, a fund of Tides Foundation. This event is part of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance 2021 Stages Festival, made possible by support from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts; Bank of America; The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey; OceanFirst Foundation; the George A. Ohl, Jr. Trust; New Jersey Historical Commission; and Fund for the New Jersey Blind. www.njtheatrealliance.org/stages