With the general election just days away, SUNY Fredonia's student-run improv theatre troupe Random Acts will perform "American President," a parody that combines the drama and intrigue of the 2012 presidential campaigns with the glitz and glamor of the popular "American Idol" television program.
"American President," to be presented today and Friday, opens with the introduction of the judges comprised of several of the nation's founding fathers, followed by the show's final episode, which features appearances by former candidates, flashbacks to smear commercials and the final debate between the two national candidates. That sets the stage for the audience to vote for its favorite candidate.
"Our performance is aimed at revealing the showmanship and theatricality of the campaign process by performing it in the style of a reality TV show where reality is already skewed and we hope to find comedy in the juxtaposition of something so serious in a not-so-serious setting," said director Marisa Caruso, a member of the campus Community Arts Council, which is presenting the show.
The 10-student cast includes Mark Diven (host/moderator), Dave Quinones (President Barack Obama) and Jacob Bradley (Gov. Mitt Romney). Several Political Science students will serve both back stage and in the house to assist with the final election.
Drawing upon the talent of students and faculty, including Tom Loughlin, Sarah Hamilton, Jonathan Chausovsky, Samantha Kenney, Jason Dilworth, Sherri Mason and Rob Deemer, the Community Arts Council conceived "American President" on the heels of the success of "Arts for the Earth," which was part of SUNY Fredonia's Earth Week celebration in 2011.
Random Acts members began creating the overall storyline and specific characters in the show in April and have drawn upon real events occurring throughout the presidential campaign for show material. Rehearsals began in September.
Public performances of "American President" will be held today at the 1891 Opera House and on Friday at the Williams Center on campus.
Tickets are free for both performances which begin at 8 p.m.
The production is sponsored in part by a grant by the Carnahan-Jackson Foundation as well as the Department of Theatre & Dance and the Student Association.