Who wouldn’t want to direct a play called POTUS, I thought, after Bethany Paolini, the fabulous Managing Artistic Director of The 5 and Dime offered it to me. Add the subtitle, “Or, Behind Every Dumbass Are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive”, and it sounded like a director’s dream to me. What I’ve discovered about this play so far, is that it is about so much more than POTUS. It’s about the women in his life, what they go through, where they come from, and who they are.
Through her brilliant handling of overlapping dialogue, expletives, and physical comedy, Selina Fillinger, in her play that became her Broadway debut at 28 years “young”, gives us a look behind the scenes at what it takes to be a woman in a world dominated by men making mistakes. What I love most about her characters is that she allows them to be imperfect, and to be real people with genuine quirkiness and sincere aspirations.
This play is not about any one president, according to Ms. Fillinger, although certainly some real-life people have inspired her. Her characters are a mixture of many personalities, rich in the natural desire to survive in a crazy, often farcical, mixed up world, something we all can relate to these days.
So, sit back, get ready to laugh, gasp, and even cry, as you watch these women go to any lengths to survive the absurdity of the world they live in.