AMERICAN REX

February 1 - 16, 2013 | Now Closed
by Joshua Rollins
directed by Traci Brant and Jonni Pera

In the hills of Appalachia- one of the poorest, least educated, unhealthiest areas in the United States- mining companies, spurred on by a government mandate for more domestic coal, are literally blowing the tops off mountains. They take the coal away and dump what's left in valley streams, leaving behind toxic waste, poisoned land, and devastated families. They are well-funded and connected, helping elect judges, senators, and congressmen. They take whatever they need and give nothing back. Unlike other industries, you won't find a hospital named after King Coal, or a park. Unions are a thing of the past and environmental laws can be skirted by simple changes in terminology. Coal miners and farmers, the icons of American industry, are being discarded. In a small town in the heart of West Virginia, one family is under siege. Holding out despite crumbing foundations, barren land, and poisoned water, they're slowly having the ground taken away from beneath their feet. And then they start to fight back. Lives intersect as two college students stumble into a world they've lived separate from. A brother and sister try to maintain the lives they know, a father stops at nothing to protect his family and land, and the spirit of a woman long gone forces everyone into desperate action.

THE CAST

David Pera - Cambel
Jim Henry - Daniel
Jason Utesch - Hunter
Jason Kaplan - Johnson
Kelly Price - Faith
Carly Smith - Molly
Josh Eggleston - John Paul
Daena Sisk - Tracy
Dona Henry - Annette

THE PLAYWRIGHT: JOSHUA ROLLINS

Joshua Rollins is an actor and playwright. His plays have been produced in Chicago, Boston, NY and various cities. His full-length play American Rex will be workshopped in NY later this year with Alchemy Theatre and his latest play Postscript, developed with and starring an all-female cast, will have a staged reading later this month. As an actor, he has appeared in over 40 productions, including work at About Face. Chicago Dramatists, Chicago Children's, Madison Rep, and Timeline, among many others. His films include Batman: The Dark Knight, The Lake House, Awake, Killshot, and Organizm. He is a graduate of the School at Steppenwolf.