By Robert Schenkkan
Directed by Brant Pope
"A must-see show!"
- The New York Times
From Pulitzer Prize and Tony® Award-winning playwright Robert Schenkkan (All the Way, The Kentucky Cycle, Hacksaw Ridge), comes the incendiary political thriller that is captivating audiences across the country.
"A mesmerizing and shocking new play that simmers with of-the-moment urgency."
- The Hollywood Reporter
Written in “a white heat” fury following the November 2016 election, Schenkkan’s Building the Wall imagines a dystopia impacted by President Trump’s border and immigration policies. It’s the near future and millions of undocumented immigrants have been detained in overflowing prisons. Now, a writer interrogates the director of a private prison as he awaits sentencing for carrying out the federal policy that has escalated into the unimaginable. This riveting and illuminating drama delivers a powerful warning and puts a human face on the inhuman, revealing how, when personal accountability is denied, what seems inconceivable becomes inevitable.
The regional premiere, directed by Brant Pope, showcases a professional cast, including Franchelle Stewart Dorn as “Gloria” and David Sitler as “Rick.”
The running time for Building the Wall is approximately 90 minutes. There is no intermission.
The play includes adult language and mature content and may be inappropriate for age 13 and under.
Preview: August 30 at 7:30 p.m.
Opening: August 31 at 7:30 p.m.
Additional Performances: September 1, 5-8 at 7:30 p.m.; September 3 and 10 at 2:00 p.m. and September 2 at 8:00 p.m.
Community Engagement Events: September 7
Panel: Writing and Producing New Work in the American Theatre
2:00 p.m. / Oscar G. Brockett Theatre
Respondents include: Vivienne Benesch (Producing Artistic Director, PlayMakers Repertory Company), Cal MacLean (Producing Artistic Director, Clarence Brown Theatre), Marissa Wolf (Director of New Work/Artistic Associate, Kansas City Rep), Robert Schenkkan (Playwright) and Kirk Lynn (Playwright, The Method Gun, Fixing King John).
Panel: The Role of the Critic and Scholar in Assessing New Work
4:00 p.m. / Oscar G. Brockett Theatre
Respondents include: Michael Barnes (Columnist, Austin American-Statesman), Robert Faires (Arts Editor, The Austin Chronicle), Jay Handelman (Arts Editor and Theatre Critic, Sarasota Herald-Tribune), Robert Schenkkan (Playwright), Roxanne Schroeder-Arce (Scholar, Playwright, Mariachi Girl) and Kirk Lynn (Playwright, The Method Gun, Fixing King John).
The above panels are free and open the the public. Seating may be limited.
Panel times, location and respondents are subject to change.
A Conversation with Playwright Robert Schenkkan and Director Brant Pope
Immediately following the September 7 7:30 p.m. performance / Oscar G. Brockett Theatre
Patrons are invited to a post-performance conversation with Playwright Robert Schenkkan and Director Brant Pope regarding the play's development process, the role of the playwright and the play's themes. This event is open to ticket holders for the September 7 performance.
The University requires all faculty, staff, students and visitors to pay for parking on campus. For guests attending Building the Wall, discounted parking can be purchased online at https://utcofaparking.clickandpark.com/venue. Discount parking via Click and Park is available for purchase until 10:00 p.m. the day prior to the event.
Previews and Reviews
- Robert Schenkkan's Building the Wall races from page to Austin stage - Austin American-Statesman
- ON THE BLOG: Creating Challenging New Work for Modern America - Off Book: A Theatre and Dance Blog
- Staging Building the Wall Before Trump Builds His Wall - The Austin Chronicle
- Building the Wall a riveting warning about political extremes in the age of Trump - Austin American-Statesman
About the Cast
In the News: Building the Wall
A resource for media and patrons, In the News features recent publications, reviews and interviews regarding Building the Wall and Robert Schenkkan.