Preview by Jack Foley
OVER Here Theater Company’s acclaimed production, American
Dreams, is transferring by invitation to the New
Wimbledon Studio Theatre for a two week engagement, from
Tuesday, May 31, 2005.
American Dreams consists of two original short plays
by Lydia Parker - American Dream and Gringo
- which are being directed by Chris Klein and includes Nancy Baldwin,
Laurence Bouvard and John Haggerty in the cast.
American Dream tells the story of Paul, a Colombian
teacher in New York, who is lured into a pyramid selling scheme
by an old college crush.
Not just about the deceit of 'multi-level marketing opportunities',
this story is also about the dangers of cults of any sort.
Director, Christopher Klein, is uniquely placed to direct American
Dream having grown up in family committed to a well-known,
multi-level marketing organisation.
He spent much of his childhood at motivational rallies and events
with his parents who eventually grew disillusioned and who now
sell for a different 'network marketing corporation'.
Gringo is about a young American businessman, Scott,
who goes down to Puerto Rico to assist in a corporate take-over
but finds himself trapped in a terrifying web of intrigue, sex
Gringo grew out of Ms Parker’s three years in
San Juan, Puerto Rico, where she established the only professional
English language theatre company while her husband built a commuter
train line with several multinational construction companies.
Both plays show the consequences
of corporate power and greed and how they affect the little guy.
The Over Here Theater Company was set up two years ago by American
ex-pats, Lydia Parker and Maureen Oakeley.
The American acting community in England is small but vibrant
and they were soon joined by an enthusiastic group of actors who
live and work in the UK.
They quickly gained a reputation for hard-hitting comedy when
they became the first theatre company to use Guantanamo Bay in
a comic sketch about holiday resorts, in sell-out nights at the
Hard Rock Café.
Today, Over Here Theater Company members and associates span
a wide range of age, nationality and experience; from Leonard
Fenton (Dr Legg in Eastenders) to John Haggerty, a New Yorker
who has appeared in Sex and the City.
Artistic director, Lydia Parker, has had her plays produced in
New York where she also worked as a director and actor.
Regarding her aims in these two plays, Lydia said: "I realised
after living here for five years that the English have mixed feelings
"Either they admire our enthusiasm and energy or they scorn
us as a bunch of dunderheads who voted for the wrong president…
twice! At the Over Here Theater Company we want to show the British
public we are smart, politically aware and can laugh at ourselves."
American Dreams runs from Tuesday thru Saturday, from May 31
– June 11, 2005 at 7.45pm (Saturday matinee, 3pm).
Tickets are £8.50 (£6.50 concession) Tuesday through
Thursday and Saturday matinee, £10 (£7.50 concession)
Friday and Saturday evenings.
Tickets can be reserved by calling the New Wimbledon Studio Theatre
box office on 0870 060 6646.