posted January 9, 2005
Our Time

Our Time is a play in two parts. Each part is a standalone two hour production which may be staged independently of the other, or together in a single four hour performance. Our Time is about how America has changed socially, culturally, and politically from the early 1930s to the present—as viewed through a series of scenes involving American Presidents from Herbert Hoover through George W. Bush. The play employs both naturalist and non-naturalist theatrical devices, depicts the evolution of American visual art over the last 70 years on projected-overhead screens, features selections of American popular music at appropriate junctures, and uses Narrator soliloquys to the audience about our changing understanding of the nature of Time.

Our Time begins with a prologue introducing three tragic masked and robed figures who represent three un-named forces responsible for driving the changes over the period in question. All speak in verse, dance, and appear thereafter periodically throughout the play as a kid of collective Mephistofelean character. The fourteen scenes of the play are based on fourteen real occurrences that historically happened involving American Presidents from Hoover to Bush, save for one such experience that occurs in 2012. While each occurrence happened, the details of dialogue are historically unknown; Our Time revisits each occurrence and re-creates the missing or unknown dialogue.

Scenes include, for example, Roosevelt’s meeting with Joe Kennedy in the early fall of 1940. Truman meeting with General MacArthur in early 1951. A meeting between Robert and John Kennedy in November 1963. A private meeting between Lyndon Johnson and reporters in the summer of 1965. A dialogue between Nixon and John Dean in the spring of 1973. An exchange between Reagan and Gorbachev in Reykavik, Iceland. George W. Bush and his advisers in November 2000, and again in 2012.

Our Time is an unorthodox dramatic look at America: how it was, is becoming, and may well be after 70 plus years of war, crisis, and the drive for empire.

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"The acting is also outstanding, helping us feel in our guts what it must have been like to be a worker with only his fists, courageously facing police and National Guard machine guns and tanks...."

Jack Rasmus Productions
211 Duxbury Court
San Ramon, CA 94583