By Alexandra Petri
Directed by Lee Mikeska Gardner 
At the Atlas Performing Arts Center
Featuring John Lescault as William F. Buckley and Paul Morella as Gore Vidal
Part of Locally Grown Mosaic
and recipient of a Trish Vradenburg Play Commission
Interview with Alexandra Petri
Coming Summer, 2020
All dates are subject to change


WORLD PREMIERE: In the summer of 1968, liberal Gore Vidal and conservative William F. Buckley met for a series of debates that rocked America and defined the genre of punditry. Now, for one evening only, Vidal and Buckley meet in the Dismal Beyond (also known as the Richard Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, CA) to reprise their infamous debate. What ensues is a battle for history itself, in a no-holds-barred sesquipedalian brawl and satirical battle of wits, assisted by an ever revolving cast of characters from Truman Capote, to James Baldwin to Ayn Rand.

Lead Underwriter: The Vradenburg Foundation

Every performance will be Open Captioned



“Playwright and Washington Post humorist Alexandra Petri once again delivers a delightfully and deliriously funny production.”
Washington City Paper


indicates a post show discussion immediately following the performance



All performances are open captioned. All post show discussions are ASL interpreted.


Click on each artist for more information

Emily Lotz

Set Designer

Dylan Uremovich

Lighting & Projections Designer

Raquis Petree*

Stage Manager

Bryan Boyd

Assistant Stage Manager

Willow Watson

Properties Designer

Brandee Mathies

Costume Designer

David Bryan Jackson

Sound Designer

Shirley Sertosky





Thursday, March 12th | 8:00 PM

Discussion with the Creative Team Moderated by Ari Roth, Mosaic Founding Artistic Director with panelists Director Lee Mikeska Gardner, actors John Lescault and Paul Morella. 

Sunday, March 15th | 3:00 PM

Discussion with Writer Alexandra Petri

Moderated by Ari Roth, Mosaic Founding Artistic Director with panelist Alexandra Petri, playwright and Washington Post columnist.

Thursday, March 19th | 8:00 PM

Conservatives, Liberals, and How We All Got Here Moderated by Michael Feldman, Co-facilitator of the Theater and Policy Salon with panelists Steve Clemons, Editor at Large, The Hil; Norm Ornstein, Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute; and Cynthia Schneider, Distinguished Professor of Practice Diplomacy, Co-Director of the Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics at Georgetown University.

Saturday, March 21st | 3:00 PM

The Downfall of Political Discourse/The Rise of Political Spectacle Moderated by Mel Hardy, Millennium Arts Salon, Center for Contemporary Art, PeaceAction, and Mayors for Peace - with panelist Professor Michael Cornfield, Political Scientist; Associate Professor of Political Management at The George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management; Research Director for the Global Center for Political Management; and author of Politics Moves Online: Campaigning and the Internet.    

Sunday, March 22nd | 3:00 PM

An Insider's Look at 1968: Partisanship Then and Now Moderated by Stephen Stern, Mosaic Theater Founding Board Chair, Public Programming - with panelists Imani M. Cheers, Award-winning digital storyteller, director, producer and filmmaker.

Thursday, March 26th | 8:00 PM

Race, Gender, and Sexuality on the Political Stage Moderated by Laley Lippard, Theater Director and Manager of Public Programming and Partnerships - with panelist Lara M. Brown, Ph.D., Author, Jockeying for the American Presidency: The Political Opportunism of Aspirants; Director & Associate Professor, Graduate School of Political Management (GSPM), The George Washington University.

Thursday, March 26th | 11:00 AM

Discussion with the Creative Team


Saturday, March 28th | 3:00 PM

A Brief History of Politics and the Media: Television, Cable News, and the Internet Moderated by Angelisa Gillyard, Manager of Outreach and Community Engagement.


Letter from the Artistic Director

by Ari Roth, Founding Artistic Director

Inherit the Windbag: Whos's Who and What's What

by Shirley Serotsky, Production Dramaturg



Atlas Performing Arts Center

1333 H Street NE

Washington, DC 20002

202-399-7993 ext 2


Monday-Friday, 11 AM to 2 PM; 3 PM to 6 PM

In person: 2 hours prior to show on show days

Box office does NOT take calls two hours prior to a show's curtain, but will return all voice messages left during that time.

Will Call opens one hour prior to curtain.

Patrons who arrive late will be seated at the discretion of management.