2008: Red State

Written by Michael Gene Sullivan
Music & Lyrics by Pat Moran
Directed by Michael Gene Sullivan with assistance from Lisa Hori-Garcia

RED STATE featured performers Lisa Hori-Garcia, Robert Ernst, Velina Brown,
Lizzie Calogero, Noah James Butler & Adrian C. Mejia
and band members Joel Fadness, Kevin McHugh & Pat Moran

View original playbill

View show photos

View YouTube Clip
Poster Design: Spain Rodriguez

It's Election Day in small town America! The Heartland - apple pie, general stores, hard work. But in Bluebird, Kansas, apple pie has been replaced with government cheese, general stores have made way for pawn shops, and hard work on the job has become the hard work of survival. Littered with a crumbling New Deal infrastructure and its monuments to a feisty union past forgotten, Bluebird is ready to slip into oblivion.

But what if a small town in a Red State found itself at the forefront of a political fight? That's what happens when, due to an Electoral College tie, the entire Presidential Election comes down to the one district that, due to a voting machine glitch, didn't report any results. As America awaits a re-vote, the citizens of Bluebird wrestle with even bigger questions- who's going to fix the sidewalk? The roof of the post office? And how are they going to re-open the Library? And it occurs to some of the citizens of Bluebird, with the eyes of the nation fixed on them and the world waiting for a result, that perhaps they might get some long overdue government money if they don't re-vote right away... Can one little town hold an entire nation's election hostage? Should it? Is bread in the farmhouse tonight more important than deciding who sits in the White House tomorrow? A new President, but not until the new sidewalk is finished? Or should they just pack it in, move away, and try to build a life somewhere else in their Red State?

Production Photo
The tornado spins Eugene through the air
Photographer: Liza M Frolkis
Pictured: Bob Ernst

Honors, Reviews and Articles:

Nominated - Best Original Script, 2008 - San Francisco Bay Area Theater Critic's Circle

"...Combines red and blue, truth and unreality, political commentary and incisive wit. The results are delicious. 'Red State' is the ideal election fare - sharp and funny, with just enoiugh bite."
Examiner.com - 7/7/08

"Reclaiming red from the dusty color wheel of history... smart and consistantly funny. Brilliantly delivered by a uniformly sharp and charismatic cast - posits FDR's small town America as marooned at Francis Fukuyama's end of history..."
San Francisco Bay Guardian - 7/15/08

"Funny, timely, far-fetched, and packed with sharp political barbs." "Local treasure Velina Brown, as the newly unemployed librarian, kicks the show into high gear with a gospel-infused "Leaving Town."
San Francisco Chronicle - 7/8/08

"The real high point of the show is Pat Moran's score. He has written some great songs about struggling Americans."
SF Theater Examiner - 7/5/08

"The Mime Troupe, we do not do silent mime."
Cool as Hell, pod cast - 7/3/08

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