With less than a week until one of the most important elections of our lifetime, Daniel Dae Kim’s 3AD, along with the New York Theater Workshop, will present a one-day streaming event of the timely, politically charged play Belly of the Beast on November 1.
Written by Margaret Vandenburg and directed by Lisa Rothe, Belly of the Beast stars Kim, Joel de la Fuente (Man in the High Castle), Carrie Preston (True Blood), Tamilyn Tomita (Star Trek: Picard) and Antonia Thomas (The Good Doctor). The play is set in a time when American democracy is threatened by disinformation and fake news (basically, this is set in the present). Donald Trump campaign executives Alex (Kim) and Justin (de la Fuente) use psychographic profiling, microtargeting, Twitter bombs, and sock puppets to determine the outcome of the presidential election, replacing so-called reality with the political equivalent of reality TV. Yet Washington insiders are caught in the crosshairs of their own machinations, poisoning the well of what is left of their personal lives.
In tandem with the looming election November 3, Belly of the Beast presents a potential nightmare scenario that haunts the collective imagination of a country at war with itself.
Preston plays Justin and Alex’s boss Karen Fitzpatrick; Tomita plays Alex’s wife Laura Lee; and Thomas will step into the role of Washington Post reporter Tanya Douglas.
“Shakespeare once wrote that true artistry holds a mirror up to nature. Some plays do so in the abstract, but Belly of the Beast takes a very specific event, the current Presidential campaign, and takes a hard look at how certain practices pose an immediate threat to democracy in the digital age,” Kim told Deadline of the play. “I don’t know of any other play that tackles this specific subject matter, especially in a way that’s as informative, thought-provoking, and timely for those who have yet to cast their vote in next week’s election. That’s why we feel it’s important to release this production right now. It’s the way that we as artists can hold up that mirror to nature and make a difference at a crucial time.”
He added, “In fact, we all felt so strongly about it that we donated our time so that all profits from ticket sales can go directly to charity. It’s also deliberately priced to be accessible to everyone. The priority for us is to bring high quality, professional theater to all, in the form of an important story well told.”
3AD will produce alongside The New York Theater Workshop and TodayTix. Tickets to the streaming event are available now at TodayTix. All profits benefit The Creative Coalition, which sponsors forums for the discussion of central issues such as education policy, violence in America, the role of the media, campaign finance reform and other topics of broad concern. The organization also tackle issues of direct importance to the arts and entertainment community, including First Amendment rights, public funding for the arts, and arts education in the public schools.