named 'best theater of 2019'
"Ray Yamanouchi’s biting play, staged with breathless momentum by Axel Avin Jr, was caustic and challenging."
The gleefully anachronistic show...has a rambunctious punk-rock energy that’s all too rare on our increasingly sanitized stages.”
- Elisabeth Vincentelli, The New Yorker
Exceptionally committed acting from a cast of five!”
- Adam Feldman, TimeOut New York, Critics' Pick
Startlingly fresh, new play.”
- Dan Rubins, Theatre is Easy, 'Best Bet'
A confrontational, blackly comic tale that builds a bridge between the ghastly realities of the antebellum South and the racial divides of today...If Bertolt Brecht were alive today, he might be creating something very much like The American Tradition.”
Lighting & Sound America
The play is a sort of sociopolitical farce, reminiscent of productions that The San Francisco Mime Troupe has been staging for decades...it speeds along at a rollicking pace.”
Mark Dundas Wood
Photos by Jody Christopherson
The American Tradition bears an emotional potency that sticks in the mind.”
Plays To See
Ray Yamanouchi's 'The American Tradition' cleverly puts the American Slavery of the past into the future w/a very dramatic opening that doesn't hit home til the end of the play...Superb ensemble.”
Director Axel Avin Jr.brings out Yamanouchi’s sly humor, notably in a feminist strain...Avin’s actors handle the mash-up of periods with aplomb.”
Video by Hallie & Zach Griffin
Here's one to see: a tart, fast, sharply directed satire. There are super performances across the board; everyone is punching hard.”
This podcast isn't in the reviewing business...but sometimes, I see a show that, frankly, I firmly believe everyone, theatre-maker, theatre-lover, and civilian alike, should see. This is one of those shows.”
Go See a Show
LISTEN & LEARN from Cast & Creatives of
The American Tradition
speaking w/ Go See a Show's
Sydney Cole Alexander as Eleanor
Martin K. Lewis * as Bill
Alex Herrald * as Mr. Walsh
Hunter Canning *† as Buckley/Henry/Sheriff
Danie Steel as Rose
† indicates NLTP company member
*indicates member of Actors' Equity Association
Written by Ray Yamanouchi
Directed by Axel Avin, Jr.
Casting by Gama Valle
Line Producing by Rebecca Crigler †
Fight Direction by Leighton Samuels
Scenic Design by Brian Dudkiewicz †
Costume Design by Samantha Rose Lind †
Lighting Design by Elaine Wong
Music & Sound Design by Enrico de Trizio
Stage Management by Chelsea Olivia Friday *
Assistant Stage Management by Alicia Parker
Assistant Direction by Cynthia Cunningham
Technical Direction by ToniAnne DiFilippo †
Press Representation by Karen Greco
† indicates NLTP company member - click on name for more info
Developed in part with the support of Rising Circle Theater Collective at the INKtank Play Development Lab for Emerging Artists of Color.
Cast and Creative Team for The American Tradition.
Set in Antebellum America with an absurd and Brechtian twist, fictitious characters Eleanor—cross-dressing as a white planter—and her husband, Bill—pretending to be her loyal servant—attempt to escape to the free state of Pennsylvania. Their operation is running smoothly until they meet Walsh, a drunk planter and member of the Not All Slavers organization, who steals Bill at a rest stop. Armed with a Glock-19 and her fair skin, Eleanor sets out to rescue him by any means necessary.