Patrick Scott-Wilson, of Sacrifice Cliff Theatre Co., is teaming up with other Billings creative folks to provide a night of theater and discussion as the country takes a leap into a new era.
The event, “Inauguration: A Ceremony to Mark the Beginning,” will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 20 at 2905 Montana Ave. Admission is pay what you will.
“I felt like there was a need for a forum, a space to express what people needed to express,” Wilson said.
It started with the offer of free rights for national readings of Lauren Gunderson’s play, “The Taming,” on the night of president-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration. The play will be read at 7 p.m.
Gunderson's raucous, all-female play was inspired by Shakespeare's "Taming of the Shrew." It follows beauty contestant Katherine in her political aspirations. All she needs to revolutionize the American government is the help of one ultra-conservative senator's aide and a bleeding-heart liberal blogger who will do anything for her cause.
Before the Billings reading of Gunderson's play, local performance artists will share poetry, monologues and other work to express their fears and hopes in the new year.
Billings playwright Sarah Butts will do a reading of her new work, "I Hear That, I Hear You," based on interviews with 50 people about the 2016 presidential election.
Wilson said he tried to assemble a group of people to reflect the demographic of Billings.
“Theater in Billings is so white. We need to do a better job of reaching out to the community and invite people of color to join us,” Wilson said.
Wilson and many others are predicting an oppressive climate in the new political structure. Sometimes that can strengthen the art community.
“When there are oppressive regimes, art rises to that occasion,” Wilson said.
Among others, performers include Wilson, Dave Caserio, Krista Leigh Pasini, Dina Brophy, Wanda Morales, Colin McRae, Nichole Lund, Anna Paige, Adrian Jawort, and Shad Scott-Wilson.
Call 406-672-9291 to reserve a seat.