Political Theater

In honor of the upcoming presidential election, we've rounded up shows that celebrate—or skewer—American politics. 

No matter where you go these days—the family dinner table, the office water cooler, Twitter—you'll inevitably find people talking (or, perhaps, ranting) about Hillary versus The Donald. This heated presidential election has gotten everyone riled up, so it's no wonder that it's inspiring theater artists, too. From a revival of a rarely done Shakespeare tragedy, to politically minded revues, to brand-new plays addressing our country's polarized state, there are many more theater choices than candidates. There's even a show written by a first-time playwright who happens to be a former State Senator! So there's no need to wait until Election Day; cast your vote for one of these political productions pronto.

A revolutionary story of passion, unstoppable ambition, and the dawn of a new nation.

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Hamilton is the epic saga that follows the rise of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton as he fights for honor, love, and a legacy that would shape the course of a nation. Based on Ron Chernow’s celebrated biography and set to a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, R&B, and Broadway, Hamilton has had a profound impact on culture, politics, and education. With a book, score, and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, direction by Thomas Kail, choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler, and musical supervision and orchestrations by Alex Lacamoire, the musical has won Tony Awards, Grammy®, Olivier Awards, the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and an unprecedented special citation from the Kennedy Center Honors.

Along with characters like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, King George III, Aaron Burr, and Angelica and Elizabeth Schuyler, the musical tells the story of a political mastermind and the country he came to build.

Hamilton premiered at the Public Theater in 2015 and received rave reviews. It then transferred to Broadway where it continued to play sold-out performances. The show subsequently transferred to the West End in 2017.

Tony Award-winning playwright and director Richard Nelson returns to the Public Theater with the final chapter his new three-play cycle about the Gabriels of Rhinebeck, New York.

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Once again, we're back in the kitchen of the Gabriel family as they await the results of the presidential election on November 8, 2016. 'Women of a Certain Age' takes place in the course of a single night, eight months after we first met the clan. Patricia, the family matriarch, joins her children and daughters-in-law as they prepare a meal from the past and consider the future of their country, town, and home. Paying tribute to the difficult year behind them, the Gabriels compare notes on the search for empathy and authenticity at a time when the game seems rigged and the rules are forever changing.

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Red Bull Theater's visceral mounting of Shakespeare's political tragedy features Broadway star Patrick Page ('Cymbeline,' 'Casa Valentina'), RSC veteran Lisa Harrow, and two-time Tony winner Stephen Spinella.

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The streets are full of protest. Economic inequality strains the social fabric. Debates rage throughout a nation riddled with dissension and distrust. It’s election year in Rome, 493 B.C.E., and as unscrupulous politicians manipulate public opinion, the hypocrisy and humiliation of campaigns drive away the country’s finest. But beneath this political drama looms the personal tragedy of one principled man’s emotional blindness.

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A long-running musical revue/sketch comedy show about current events, celebrities, & politicians.

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'Newsical's' songs and sketches parody all of today's biggest headlines, from politics to pop culture, celebrities to social trends. It's 'Saturday Night Live' meets 'Laugh-In' meets 'The Nightly News' meets Broadway.

Songs and material are updated on a regular basis.

Phoenix Theatre Ensemble presents Bertolt Brecht’s savage satire about the rise of a fascist dictator. This version marks the U.S. premiere of Stephen Sharkey's recent translation.

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It's '30s Chicago, where a crazy but charismatic gangster named Arturo Ui is hellbent on gaining power at all costs. Brecht's farce ultimately turns frighteningly relevant as the playwright uses a wide range of parody and pastiche, from Capone to Shakespeare’s 'Richard III' to Goethe’s 'Faust.' Directed by Obie winner Kevin Confoy.

The Theater Center presents an examination of our current presidential election, mounted as a town-hall type gathering in a local bar. Written by former New Mexico State Senator Joe Carraro.

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Based on the real-life stories of average Joes and Janes, Carraro's new play features many musings, monologues, and situations that bring the injustices we face as a society at the hands of big corporations and big government to light. The show is more a "movement" than a play. It examines the disenchantment of this unique presidential election, and aims to provide a forum for political change through audience engagement.