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Box Office: 941.351.8000 / 800.361.8388

The 2015-16 season is the fourth season in an ambitious five-year project that will examine and celebrate the extraordinary people, culture, history and experiences that make our country unique. Throughout the American Character project, our seasons will feature select productions that explore, embody, and attempt to define what it truly means to be an American.

We know who we are. By that we mean our values are set, our ideas about the world concrete. When we face a great challenge to these fundamental assumptions, it often seems that there are two clear options. We harden ourselves and defend, or we risk accepting the most daunting prospect of all: change.

Change is always happening – in microscopic, evolutionary ways and in profound, global, social, economic, political, and religious ways. The essence of life is change, and it goes to the heart of being human that we are always assessing the nature of change. Whether it moves us forward or holds us back.

The fourth season of our American Character Project captures diverse groups of people, as well as the country itself, in moments of deep, fundamental change. We’re telling stories about forbidden love arising amidst the rivalry of two culturally divided street gangs, monumental social changes driven by firebrand politicians and African-American civil rights leaders, feuding artists whose talents are matched only by their egos, a young man whose coming of age tests his entire family, parents coming to terms with their children’s unexpected engagement, two multicultural couples whose dinner party disintegrates into a highly charged confrontation, and a young African-American woman who exiles herself to Paris where she becomes an international celebrity and war hero.

The plays illustrate the challenges inherent in forging the American character. But more than outlining our differences, these works repeatedly drive home the fact that at the core, we are all the same – all human – and our differences are, in actuality, incredibly slight.

As our audience, you are being asked for a brief moment in time to walk in someone else’s shoes and broaden your understanding of what it is to be human, and American. We are rarely offered opportunities to truly empathize with a different point of view, but theatre demands it. It demands an empathetic expansion of your spirit and mind.

Change can be difficult, but it can also be thrilling, electric, and invigorating. It is vital to life.

Come to Asolo Rep this season, and be open. Be changed..

Michael Donald Edwards
Producing Artistic Director