The Real Americans
In rep with Draw the Circle
Written & performed by Dan Hoyle
Directed by Charlie Varon
At the Atlas Performing Arts Center, Lab II
November 10-December 22, 2017
“Hilarious! Fearless" — Nelson Presley, The Washington Post
"far and away one of the most entertaining, polished, insightful, and stirring solo performances this town is likely to see." — John Stoltenberg, DC Metro Theater Arts
Inspired by 100 days travelling in a van through small- town America, actor/writer Dan Hoyle enacts a multi-character encounter with the people at ground zero of our country’s growing economic inequality and polarized politics. Hoyle’s quest to “break the liberal bubble” sends him on an unforgettable journey into the lives of a new Mosaic of Americans: union coal miners, rural drug dealers, anti-war Veterans, and closeted gay creation theory experts...among others.
Generously underwritten by Marvin F. Weissberg.
Atlas Performing Arts Center
1333 H Street NE
Washington, DC 20002
202-399-7993 ext 2
Box Office Hours
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.
Wed December 6 at 8 PM | “Finding Reliancy in the Face of Hardship”
with Jimena Ryan, Chief Marketing Officer, Raffa
Thurs December 7 at 11AM | “The Next Generation of America”
with Dan Hoyle
Sat December 9 at 8 PM | “Guns, God, and Unions” with Alex Lawson,
Executive Director, Social Security Works (Open captions)
Sun December 10 at 3 PM | “The New News in Theater” with Gibson Cima,
Professor of Theater, Northern Illinois University and
April Sizemore-Barbor, Women's and Gender Studies, Georgetown University (Open captions)
Mon December 11 at 8 PM | “Drawing a Bridge” with Kim Sadara, Artist & Illustrator and
Whitney Parnell, Co-Founder and CEO, Service Never Sleeps
Thurs December 14 at 8 PM | “Alabama on My Mind” with Valerie Ervin, Senior
Advisor, Working Families Party and Eugene Puryear, Organizer, Justice First
Fri December 15 at 8 PM | “Responding to the South“ with
Ashok Panikkar, Founder and Principal Consultant, Meta-Culture, April Reign,
Activist and Founder #OscarsSoWhite, and Kimberly Rasmussen, Founder and
Political Director, Political Institute for Women
Sat December 16 at 3 PM | “A Country of Strangers” with David Shipler,
Journalist and Author, Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction
Sun December 17 at 7:30 PM | "Defending and Promoting Core Values?: Part II”
Richard Renner, Partner, Kalijarvi, Chuzi, Newman & Fitch, PC;
Sue Udry, Executive Director, Defending Rights & Dissent; and
Chip Gibbons, Policy and Legislative Counsel, Defending Rights and Dissent
Tues December 19 at 8 PM | “Politicizing Stories for Change” with Danica Roem,
Delegate-Elect, Virginia House of Delegates
Wed December 20 at 8 PM
Fri December 22 at 8 PM
"The Real Americans is far and away one of the most entertaining, polished, insightful, and stirring solo performances this town is likely to see." — John Stoltenberg, DC Metro Theater Arts
“Dan Hoyle’s smart, entertaining, funny, insightful, and surprising show...is compassionate and ultimately hopeful, without being soft at all." — The New Yorker
“Mr. Hoyle is both a first-rate reporter and actor." — New York Times
“Impressive, hilarious, moving and provocative. Beneath the masterful humor, a rich texture of human connections asserts itself." — San Francisco Chronicle
“Brilliant and tantalizing, hilarious and thought-provoking. A creative work that will retain its importance for many years to come.” — Triangle Arts & Entertainment (North Carolina)
“Hoyle is a master...he fully inhabits both physically and vocally the various personages he plays." — Portland Oregonian
“Hilarious! Fearless...Just what you want to hear: all-over-the-map voices making sense of what seems to be the country's spinning compass.” — Nelson Presley, The Washington Post
“a MUST-SEE...reveals poignant perspectives with humor, emotional depth, and authenticity.” — Barbara Johnson, Broadway World
Meet the Artists
Dan Hoyle (Performer & Playwright) is an actor and writer based in New York City. His brand of journalistic theater has been hailed as "riveting, funny and poignant" (New York Times) and "hilarious, moving and very necessary" (Salon). His solo shows EACH AND EVERY THING, THE REAL AMERICANS, TINGS DEY HAPPEN, FLORIDA 2004: THE BIG BUMMER, and CIRCUMNAVIGATOR--all created and premiered at The Marsh Theater in his native San Francisco--have had more than 800 performances around the country and overseas including The Public Theater, Culture Project, AS220 (Providence, RI), Baltimore Center Stage, Berkeley Repertory Theater, Cleveland Playhouse, Portland Center Stage, Playmakers Repertory Company (North Carolina), Painted Bride (Philadelphia), The Lensic (Santa Fe, NM), The Park in Kolkata, India, a five city tour of Nigeria and many universities including Columbia, Stanford, USC, and NYU.
As an actor, Hoyle recently appeared Off-Broadway in Samantha Chanse's FRUITING BODIES at The Sheen Center (The Claque). He has been featured in several web comedy series, playing everything from a struggling tech entrepreneur to a guy named Skeezy Steve.
His multi-actor play GAME ON, co-written with Tony Taccone, won the TBA award for Outstanding New Play. His second multi-actor play, THE BLOCK, had a critically acclaimed World Premiere Off-Broadway in Spring 2016, produced by The Working Theater. His third, GROW, about growers in the cannabis industry, was produced by Mendocino College in the heart of cannabis country in Northern California. He is currently an artist-in-residence at the Heyman Center for Humanities at Columbia University working on a piece of solo journalistic theater BORDERS/NO BORDERS.
Hoyle has taught workshops at colleges and theaters around the country. He has been recognized with many awards, including the Will Glickman, Prize of Hope, Bay Area Theater Critics Circle, Lucille Lortel (Nomination), been supported by grants from the Edgerton Foundation, the Pew Theater Initiative, the Fleishhacker Foundation, the Zellerbach Foundation, and been commissioned by Working Theater, Aurora Theater, First Person Arts, and SF Playhouse. He holds a double degree in Performance Studies and History from Northwestern University and was a Fulbright Scholar in Nigeria in 2005-2006.
Charlie Varon (Director) The San Francisco Chronicle has credited Charlie Varon with "reinventing the form of solo theater." Charlie has been writing and performing for over 30 years. Since 1991, he has been creating award-winning solo theater work in collaboration with the extraordinary David Ford. Their home base is The Marsh, a wonderful, intimate theater in San Francisco's Mission District.
Charlie has also directed Dan Hoyle's smash hit showsTings Dey Happen and The Real Americans. He teaches solo performance at The Marsh, narrates audio tours for museums around the country, and is currently at work on a cycle of short stories called The Listener, which will be coming to the stage in 2013.
Charlie has also collaborated with humorist Jim Rosenau on dozens of sketches for radio and stage, and on some of the pieces in Ten Day Soup and Soup of the Day. Charlie and Jim's humor pieces have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Los Angeles Times, Salon, and other publications. Charlie teaches workshops in solo performance in association with The Marsh, narrates audio tours for museums around the country, and lives with his family in San Francisco.
From the Artistic Director
The incredible performance piece we’re about to experience, with its razor-sharp renderings and ingeniously-sourced rural reportage, is a close thematic relative to the play we’ve been running down the hall in the Lang Theatre throughout November, Jon Robin Baitz’s Vicuña & The American Epilogue. In the penultimate scene of Baitz’s contemporary historical fiction, the real estate tycoon turned presidential candidate, Kurt Seaman, invokes Dan Hoyle’s title in a great bit of “product placement” for our theater, as he rails: “Let’s dispatch the enemies of America with God’s own fire, let’s salt the land with the bonfires of our wrath and brighten the skies with the embers of all the elites who have brought America to her knees from within… Become one of us, The Real Americans!”
But Dan Hoyle’s portrait of under-documented America is much more than the voicing of a call to arms, or an exposè of Rust-Belt/Neo-Dustbowl Rage. Hoyle humanizes his subjects with nuance and surprise as they reverberate with new power and definition, meeting up with the political moment in which we find ourselves today.
I’ve admired Dan’s work from afar, having been introduced to it by his mentor and director, the great writer-performer himself, Charlie Varon. And like so many, I’ve appreciated The Real Americans in particular, knowing it’s been a half dozen years in the making, and updated over the past two summers to account for sweeping political changes in this country.
The hook for me into this play, and what’s set it apart from earlier portraits of rural Tea Party America, is its knowing dissection of the cultural left; the crunchy brunch set that Dan has such a good time with and feels he must leave—but report back to—as he embarks on his rural journey.
There’s been a post-election divide in liberal/progressive circles about whether it’s incumbent upon us to listen to the stories of those who voted for Trump; to take in the grievance, the critique, the alternate vision of the other America; the “forgotten” America that really hasn’t been so forgotten—only under-respected by media and political strategists and activists, on both coasts. The angry America that Kurt Seaman refers to in Vicuña—the America responsible for the foment of a second Civil War; the one that may or may not already be with us, is rendered differently here.
What are we to make of these seething tensions between Right and Left, as we retrace Dan Hoyle’s theatrical travelogue? I think the blood boils less as Dan shows us the supple face of humanity wherever it dwells, and we find our common shortcomings—our common humanity—in the foibles and blind spots and redeemable as well as troubling attributes that unite us.
What kind of country are we to become? That’s among the final questions posed in Vicuña and it’s relevant here as well. As we continue to shed the skin of one age and take in the new realities of a post-Obama landscape, somehow, I believe the answer is in the process of Dan Hoyle’s playmaking. He sought to find truth in his own questioning; in the process of rendering anew; revising what has become old. The answer is a journey to find shared humanity beyond political difference. Perhaps this play points to a powerful way forward. Welcome to Washington, Dan Hoyle. We’re listening. We need you.
— Ari Roth