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American Dream transfers to New Wimbledon



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 and violence.

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 about Americans.

"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.

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