The American Dream Project

Middlebury Acting Company (MACo) presents The American Dream Project, a new, monthly online play reading series. The series, held every second Sunday at 4 p.m., will convene the group via ZOOM to discuss a play which participants will ready prior to gathering. A moderator will facilitate the conversation and MACo actors and guest artists will read aloud selected scenes from each play. Moderators will offer (in advance) ideas and or questions to think about while reading each play.

Series subscription is $20 (Register HERE).

The Plays! If you have not already purchased plays, you may order them individually at a 15% discount, they are listed below. Use coupon code code THTAD. You can also call or come into the bookstore to pick up your bundle.

There are a limited number of plays already in stock and you can receive the same discount by referencing the code in person or via phone. Mention The American Dream Project, and as needed, the Town Hall Theater/Lisa Mitchell. If the play you are looking for is not in stock, you will want to order plays in advance of the readings, leaving at least a couple of weeks for delivery to Vermont Book Shop.

Zoom details will be sent to all participants in advance of each play reading session.

  • Sunday December 13: Spinning Into Butter by Rebecca Gilman
  • Sunday February 14: The Royale by Marco Ramirez
  • Sunday March 14: Topdog/Underdog by Suzan-Lori Parks
  • Sunday April 11: The Niceties by Eleanor Burgess
  • Sunday January 17: Sweat by Lynn Nottage
  • Sunday May 16: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom by August Wilson
Spinning into Butter: A Play By Rebecca Gilman Cover Image
ISBN: 9780571199846
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - August 7th, 2000

Moderator: Rebecca Strum
A crisis erupts at a small Vermont college when racist notes are posted on the dorm room door of one of the school’s few African-American students. Sarah Daniels, the newly-hired dean of students, races to defuse the whirlwind of emotions spun up by students and faculty, but before the play reaches its surprise ending, she and the other whites on campus must first confront their own conflicted feelings about race.

The Royale By Marco Ramirez Cover Image
This book is not available for purchase online. Contact us for further information.
ISBN: 9780573705304
Published: Samuel French, Inc. - May 18th, 2017

Moderator: Nicolas Caycedo
Charismatic African-American boxer Jay “The Sport” Jackson has a burning desire to become the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. Jackson’s fight begins long before the match, though; it takes careful negotiations to convince the white reigning titleholder to even recognize him as a worthy opponent and enter the ring. 

The play is about the life of the outsider in American culture. Set in 1905, deep in the midst of Jim Crow, it explores one man’s struggle while reflecting a much broader one. It is also a play about a brother and sister who protect each other but don’t agree on what that means.

Topdog/Underdog By Suzan-Lori Parks Cover Image
ISBN: 9781559362016
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Theatre Communications Group - June 1st, 2001

Moderator: Ro Boddie
Two brothers, Lincoln and Booth, locked in a battle of wits as quick as their game of Three Card Monte, struggle to come to terms with their identity and what history has handed them, even their names. With her trademark explosive language in this powerful  2002 Pulitzer Prize winning play, Suzan Lori-Parks explores the deepest of connections, and what it means to be a family of man. The play was the number-one choice in last year’s New York Times list of “The 25 Best   American Plays Since Angels in America.”

The Niceties (Oberon Modern Plays) By Eleanor Burgess Cover Image
This book is not available for purchase online. Contact us for further information.
ISBN: 9781786829658
Published: Oberon Books - December 2nd, 2019

Moderator: Bill Hart
Zoe, a black student at a liberal arts college, is called into her white professor’s office to discuss her paper about slavery’s effect on the American Revolution. What begins as a polite clash in perspectives explodes into an urgent debate about race, history, and power.

Sweat (TCG Edition) By Lynn Nottage Cover Image
ISBN: 9781559365321
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Theatre Communications Group - June 13th, 2017

Moderator: Margo Whitcomb
Winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the play, based on  the playwright’s interviews with  residents of Reading, Pennsylvania tells the story of a group of close friends struggling to stay connected when their factory is at risk of collapse. When backed up against the wall and left with neither income nor hope, people sink into racism almost by reflex. The ramifications of humanity’s anger hangs over the play, yet Nottage hints at the power of forgiveness and redemption.

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom: A Play By August Wilson Cover Image
ISBN: 9780452261136
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Plume - April 24th, 1985

Moderator: Francois Clemmons
Inspired by the real-life Gertrude “Ma” Rainey, This visceral American classic serves as the 1920s chapter of August Wilson’s epic American Century Cycle. What begins as a routine recording session becomes more strained as tensions rise between the members of a blues band and the owners of the recording studio. The white producers mean to exploit the talents of the band—especially the gifted and impulsive Levee—but when Ma insists on having things her way, tensions are enflamed and the play builds to an unexpected climax.

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