Long before “fake news” entered our lexicon, it was called propaganda. And in the Soviet Union, circa 1938, it was the grease that kept Stalin’s machinery of terror in motion. Memoirs of a Forgotten Man by D.W. Gregory is a play that takes us to a world where justice is arbitrary and freedom as we know it does not exist. It involves a Soviet journalist with the gift of total recall. A psychologist seeking to rehabilitate herself. A government censor with a secret past. Over two decades their fates become entwined as victims and collaborators in Stalin’s campaign to rewrite public memory.
New Jersey Repertory Company presents the play from August 15 through September 15 as part of its National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere. Other theaters participating in the rolling World Premiere include Contemporary American Theater Festival in Shepherdstown, West Virginia and Shadowland Stages in Ellenville, New York.
NJ Rep’s production is directed by James Glossman and stars Amie Bermowitz, Steve Brady, Andrea Gallo, and Benjamin Satche. A special talk-back with the playwright and director will be held after the first preview on Thursday, August 15.
D.W. Gregory is a playwright and educator residing in Washington, DC. Her work examines and critiques American culture with a political lens and comedic twist, and has won and been nominated for numerous awards. As a teaching artist and artist in residence, she’s also had the opportunity to write for youth theatre. She is a member of the Dramatists’ Guild, an affiliated writer with The Playwright’s Center in Minneapolis, and an affiliated artist with National New Play Network.
The rolling world premiere (RWP) is the National New Play Network’s flagship initiative. It helps shift the new play paradigm of the one-and-done premiere to diversified, traveling, multi-production premieres. This process for developing and producing new plays results in stronger work overall and the momentum needed for a play to join the repertoire of frequently produced new American works.
The article continues after this ad
Each production supports three or more theaters that choose to mount the same new play within a 12-month period, allowing the playwright to develop a new work with multiple creative teams in multiple communities. The playwright is part of the process, working on the script and making adjustments based on what is learned from each production.
The National New Play Network has championed the rolling world premieres of 90 new plays with over one million dollars in financial support. These plays have gone on to receive hundreds of subsequent productions and citations in markets across the world, been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, won Steinberg/ATCA, Stavis, PEN and Blackburn awards, and adapted into feature films.
New Jersey Repertory Company is located at 179 Broadway in Long Branch, New Jersey. Performances are Thursdays, Fridays at 8:00pm; Saturdays at 3:00pm & 8:00pm; and Sundays at 2:00pm.