By Gabriel Jason Dean | Directed by Ari Laura Kreith
Dramaturg - Natashia Lindsey
Sound Design - Megan Culley
Technical Director - Joey Yow
Technical Intern - Natalie Tirendi
New Cohort Starts June 21
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“In these divided times, when truth has become commodified and weaponized, I think maybe it’s the best thing I can do as a writer,” says Dean. “Just tell the true story. And in doing that, I think people will see themselves and their own truths in the story of my estranged brother and me." – New Jersey Stage
"The idea is that this is not just a story about me and my brother,” says (playwright Gabriel Jason) Dean. “The piece, more than anything, is about making space when it’s uncomfortable to hear each other. Sitting in the same room even though you don’t think you’ll be able to see eye to eye—forcing that, forcing yourself to do that.” – NJ Monthly
Two real-life brothers—one a convicted murderer, the other a playwright; a member of the alt-right versus an A.O.C. type progressive. Join playwright Gabriel Jason Dean in exploring the ideological divide in America and asking, "Is love enough?"
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This project is supported in part by Venturous Theater Fund of the Tides Foundation's Plays for Now initiative, and the New Jersey Theatre Alliance's STAGES Festival.
Will strangers text me?
Nope! Just us! Everything comes straight from Luna Stage to you.
Will texts wake me up at night?
Nope! We're polite and only text between 10 am and 7pm. We do our best to track your time zones too.
Did I miss anything?
See above! The play starts when you sign up.
Will you sell my phone number?
Can I change my mind?
Of course. Just text "stop" if you do. But we bet you won't want to!
Is this a true story?
Sometimes yes, sometimes not exactly. Certain aspects have been fictionalized to protect the real people in this story.
Experience the conversations of two brothers via text messages delivered right to your phone over the course of two months.
Interact with the creative team as the play evolves, explore challenges in your own life, and become part of the story.
Join us at Luna Stage (virtual and in-person options) this Fall for a culminating and revelatory final chapter.
#RIFT, a three-part project exploring whether it is possible to bridge fundamental political divides. The first phase is a virtual experience: a durational play delivered over text message. Playwright Gabriel Jason Dean, familiar to Luna audiences as the writer of 2019’s Heartland, is investigating a deeply personal landscape.
Dean’s brother is a currently-incarcerated member of the alt-right, and the two had barely spoken in 10 years. In creating this piece, Dean reconnected with his brother to explore the roots of their ideological differences and see if there was any way to find common ground, and to try to understand what love means in this context.
In addition to receiving a fictionalized account of Dean’s correspondence with his brother, audience members will be encouraged to reach out across divides that seem unbridgeable in their own lives, and to share the experiences of those interactions with the artistic team via a virtual platform. We hope to integrate some of our audience reflections about rifts in their own lives into the design of the final chapter of this experience, a play that will be performed live and live-streamed.
We believe that this deep and ongoing engagement with the creative process will allow audience and artists to become collaborative partners, grappling together with how we understand our past and imagine our future.
#RIFT deals with mature themes including violence, sexual abuse, and racism, and is intended for audiences 16+.
This event is part of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance 2021 Stages Festival, made possible by support from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts; Bank of America; The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey; OceanFirst Foundation; the George A. Ohl, Jr. Trust; New Jersey Historical Commission; and Fund for the New Jersey Blind. www.njtheatrealliance.org/stages
A PLAY IN THREE PARTS