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  Building The Wall at Fountain Theatre

Building The Wall

Fountain Theatre
5060 Fountain Avenue Hollywood

The Fountain Theatre premieres the newest play by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning playwright Robert Schenkkan (The Kentucky Cycle, All the Way, Hacksaw Ridge), the first in a series of productions set to take place at theaters across the U.S. as part of a National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere. In the very near future, the Trump administration has carried out his campaign promise to round up and detain millions of immigrants. As a writer interviews the former supervisor of a private prison, it becomes clear how federal policy has escalated to a terrifying, seemingly inconceivable, yet inevitable conclusion.

Thru - Aug 27, 2017

Mondays: 8:00pm
Fridays: 8:00pm
Saturdays: 8:00pm
Sundays: 2:00pm

Price: $15-$35

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 323-663-1525

  Building The Wall Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Los Angeles Times - Recommended

"...The acting in this 90-minute, intermission-less production is scrupulously well observed. Moreland, delivering a magnificent performance, finds subtle ways to convey the weight of Gloria's conscience. The character is obviously a first-class academic, but she's hardly dispassionate. Her experience as a target of hateful prejudice informs her research."
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Charles McNulty

Broadway World - Recommended

"...Thankfully theatre is doing its part to speak up and not be silent in the face of such outrageous government policies, with kudos given to all aspects of this riveting, harrowing and illuminating cautionary tale. No doubt BUILDING THE WALL will encourage you to practice democracy and never remain silent when new government policies are put in place that threaten human rights."
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Shari Barrett

Edge - Recommended

"...Director Michael Michetti, on the postage-sized stage, allows his two actors plenty of time to make their points -- intellectual and emotional -- giving us the opportunity to listen carefully and formulate our own opinions. It is also clearly not on the side of the authoritarian bent of this current government, so defenders of the President will not be happy with it, but for the rest of us, it is a necessary wake-up call to action."
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Dale Reynolds

The Hollywood Reporter - Recommended

"...This two-hander by Robert Schenkkan, co-screenwriter of 'Hacksaw Ridge' and a Tony winner for his LBJ bio-drama 'All the Way,' offers a cautionary look at how fascism can come to define the land of the free in Trump's America."
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Jordan Riefe

LA Splash - Somewhat Recommended

"...Playwright Schenkkan has penned a gripping polemic which hammers home what might happen in a dystopian future run by a government controlled by the uncaring and maintained by political minions who follow orders and turn a blind eye to abuses. Throughout the play, the audience is clear about one thing - something bad is going to happen - and Rick knows it. Given the current political football associated with immigration, this is obviously a timely and relevant topic. The escalation of abuses is gradual and artfully described in this production. At times, however, the message overwhelms the play, resulting in characterizations suffering in service to the message"
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Elaine L. Mura

Stage Scene LA - Somewhat Recommended

"...Despite Gloria's stated intention to get past "the same bullshit your lawyer gave the court," what she ends up "learning" over the course of the next ninety minutes is for the most part nothing that's not in the public record, only one reason why Building The Wall rarely feels real."
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Steven Stanley

On Stage Los Angeles - Recommended

"...The beauty of Building the Wall is that Schenkkan starts us off with the fear and conflict of an angry convict literally doing a dance of hostility. He's probably just a thug who deserves to be in prison. Gloria, his polar opposite, an attractive, educated liberal history professor who happens to be a black woman begins her interview as a challenge, but the dialogue evolves into an examination of humanity, morality and ethics. It never really solves the problem. It doesn't offer a solution. But the experience does give the audience troubling insights: reflections that are even physically apparent with scenic designer Se Oh's perfect reproduction of a prison interview room. The upstage observation mirror gives the audience an opportunity to see itself as possibly complicit."
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Will Call - Recommended

"...Foxworth gives the most emotional portrayal I have ever witnessed and is absolutely magnificent. Director Michael Michetti has us in the palm of his hand so that ninety minutes fly by and end up as a call to arms, with discussions following on Saturday nights. Moreland is credible as a concerned academic and her performance is on the mark but she does not project well and when she turns her back on us side-seaters, is not always as audible as we would wish. Note: spring the extra five bucks for a seat in the center section (see below). Meanwhile, be prepared to be moved to action!"
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Ingrid Wilmot

Hollywood Progressive - Somewhat Recommended

"...The acting is excellent throughout as Gloria alternately cajoles, consoles, confronts, condemns, scolds, etc., Rick in her relentless drive for the truth that reveals as much about this academic as it does the jumpsuit-ed inmate. What I thought was the ultimate, inevitable outburst and explosion never happens - Rick simmers, rather than blows his top. Nevertheless, well-directed by Michael Michetti, the thesps acquit themselves admirably in a format that is dramatically difficult."
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Ed Rampell

Night Tinted Glasses - Recommended

"...As might be expected from the title alone, this play functions as a polemic. It has a point of view, which it attempts to make you share. These generally annoy me a bit, unless done well. As it happens Building the Wall does it very well. For one thing each character comes across as a blend of flaws and virtues, with competing but at least to some extent justifiable (or understandable) world views. Nobody has all the answers, which of course doesn't mean there aren't some answers."
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Zahir Blue

Theatre Spoken Here - Recommended

"...Under Michael Michetti's fluent direction, the two actors, Judith Moreland and Bo Foxworth, duel with passionate intensity over the difference between responsibility and blame. Many people in the arts are using their creative tools to protest injustice and here, with productions of this play scheduled across the country, the alarm is raised. Hopefully such a tragedy could not happen here even though, in this play, it makes perfect logical sense."
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Morna Murphy Martell

Stage Raw - Somewhat Recommended

"...Shenkkan executes his tale skillfully, Michael Michetti has cast and directed it well, and the two actors perform superbly. It's scarcely their fault if the play fails to convince, and preaches to the choir."
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Neal Weaver

On Stage and Screen - Somewhat Recommended

"...As a play, Building the Wall is unremarkable, but as a political statement, it is quite effective. It is certainly not forgettable, and I anticipate I will remember Rick's shocking, heartbreaking final line for some time. At a time when we all need to sit up and pay attention to what is happening in our nation, this is a good if disturbing reminder that the first place we must look for change is in the mirror."
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Erin Conley

Peoples World - Highly Recommended

"...It's a rough-going 80 minutes but well worth the investment if it leads to greater effort to dismantle the incipient apparatus of fascism in America. The Fountain supplied stamped postcards addressed to the president for audience members to communicate their views."
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Eric A Gordon

Capital And Main - Not Recommended

"...While a lot of the problem is in the script (let's call it a blueprint in need of shading), some of it's in the staging. For example, the role of Gloria is markedly underwritten, her occasional exposition notwithstanding. Even so, there's plenty a performer can do to flesh out this kind of role, but under Michael Michetti's direction, Moreland is content to have Gloria pitch her queries, then react with barely concealed distaste when Rick answers them. It's a routine portrayal that leaves Foxworth little to play off of. He's a skilled actor who's clearly working his arsenal, but between the cliche-ridden script and the stock work of his colleague, there's not much he can do to make the drama come alive on his own."
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Deborah Klugman

Ticket Holders LA - Recommended

"...Schenkkan's script is sometimes predictable and the premise, as Gloria questions and Rick answers questions about his beaten-down life which so obviously formed his skewed belief system, often feels awkward and too convenient. Still, the combined artistry of Schenkkan and Michetti guiding these two immensely talented performers helps make Building the Wall an urgently important call to arms. It is a disturbing warning about things that easily could happen if we, as Americans, do not stand up to the insanity and tyranny unfolding daily before our eyes and somehow right the terrible mistake foisted upon our nation and the world."
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Travis Michael Holder

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