The Workshop Theater Main Stage at 312 West 36th Street, will present the world premiere of the piece
“MESQUITE, NV” on October 5 to 28. It is directed by Thomas Cot
Based on actual events, “Mesquite, NV” by Leegrid Stevens is a dark comedy about power and politics that is one part Coen Brothers and one part Preston Sturgis. It’s set in the retirement community of Mesquite, Nevada and dramatizes a contentious municipal election. The campaign turns nasty as complaints of sweetheart deals and fraudulent travel vouchers are leaked to the local press. Accusations quickly divide the town, leading to complete political upheaval, the downfall of both candidates and the hasty installation of “outsiders” to replace them. The play reflects truths of the American political pathology with such humor that we can chuckle at ourselves while we shudder at them.
The play is loosely based on the actual case of an acrimonious 2011 mayoral campaign in Mesquite, Nevada between the incumbent mayor and her challenger, a popular city councilwoman. In an effort to discredit her opponent, the mayor accused the challenger of stealing $90 through the fraudulent submission of an expense report. This accusation immediately infuriated a populace economically devastated by the 2008 crash and recession. Local press outlets, blogs and chat rooms exploded with calls for resignation and prosecution as well as increasingly vulgar insults online. This led to the shocking and baffling murder suicide of the city councilwoman and her husband. Their deaths upended the election and caused the resignations and firings of several major players in the city.
Thursdays & Fridays at 7:00 PM, Saturdays at 8:00 PM, Sundays at 3:00 PM.
$25 general admission, $18 students and seniors.
Jill Melanie Wirth*