My America

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USA | 2014 | 78 Minutes | Hal Hartley

September 24, 2014

Filmmaker Hal Hartley adapts 21 different monologues by some of the nation’s most exciting playwrights–including Neil LaBute, Danny Hoch, Dan Dietz, and Marcus Gardley–in an unique staged performance. Ranging from the sad to the hilarious, from the angry to the tentatively celebratory, together they from a portrait of the American psyche.

In the spring of 2012, in celebration of its 50th anniversary, the prestigious New England institution Center Stage asked leading playwrights to answer a simple question: What is my America?

Many of the major and recurrent issues associated with our fraught but beloved union are reconsidered with elegance, wit, a sometimes brutal honesty, and a little outright insanity. The playwrights found their America through a beauty pageant contestant, a soldier stationed in Afghanistan, a man imprisoned for selling marijuana, a minster who differs with his congregation about homosexuality, and even a retired Cold War-era spy.

Award-winning director Hal Hartley recorded these widely varied monologues in one big rehearsal studio, making use of little but the actors themselves, a chair, the windows, and an upright piano. The result is "a smorgasbord of distinctive character snapshots offering plenty of virtuoso acting and idiosyncratic style." (Dennis Harvey)