Credit: Lapacazo Sandoval photos

Tony Award-nominated playwright, actress and activist Danai Gurira, one of the most brilliant voices in theater today, has teamed up with two-time Tony Award-winning director Stephen Daldry and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage to present a very special event to get out the vote. “Act Out: Vote2020,” a series of short, all new monologues and songs, will make up an hour-long video encouraging audiences to vote in the upcoming elections. Written, directed, and performed by some of the most important voices in the American theater, “Act Out: Vote2020” will be available to stream October 29 at 9:00 p.m. ET at www.ActOutVote2020.com.  

This upcoming vote is a game-changer. If you are like the millions of people scratching their heads that a racist, unqualified white man won the Election College vote four years ago, we can change this horrible predicament. We must use every means necessary to remove the cancerous situation that’s going to destroy a nation.  

Gurira is stepping up to accept the challenge. Imagine the team of female warriors who serve as special forces for the fictional African nation of Wakanda, the Dora Milaje. See her? Good. 

Partnering with an unprecedented number of regional theaters across the country––in partnership with Theatre Communications Group, National New Play Network, and the Consortium of Asian American Theaters & Artists––“Act Out” is one of the most significant coast-to-coast theatrical events tied to the election. In addition to the presentation of the new works, each theater will provide voting information specific to their state, assisted by When We All Vote, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization launched by Michelle Obama to increase participation in every election. “Act Out: Vote2020” will live on YouTube until Nov. 2. 

“Voting matters for every election,” says Nottage, “but this Nov. 3rd is even more important. We believe that if the entire theatrical community—a community that has been shut down for six months and will be shut down for a year more—voted, we could help make real, necessary change. Everyone vote!” 

Danai Gurira said, “‘Act Out: Vote2020’ is our attempt to amplify American voices in this pivotal moment in history, and we implore everyone to make their voices heard and go out and vote!” 

Participating writers will include Luis Alfaro, Ngozi Anyanwu, Will Arbery, Jocelyn Bioh, Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi, Danai Gurira, Ryan J. Haddad, David Henry Hwang, Lisa Kron, Tarell Alvin McCraney, Lynn Nottage, Martha Redbone, Heidi Schreck and Rhiana Yazzie; with direction by Saheem Ali, Lileana Blain-Cruz, Steve H. Broadnax III, Stephen Daldry, Lila Neugebauer, Leigh Silverman, and Whitney White and choreography by Christopher Wheeldon. 

Act Out: Vote2020 will be performed by Yvette Nicole Brown, Ryan J. Haddad, Tonia Jo Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, Lloyd Knight, Sandra Oh, DeLanna Studi, Ephraim Skyes and more to be announced. 

In addition to Gurira, Daldry and Nottage, this special event is produced by Lia Vollack Productions and Baltimore Center Stage in collaboration with Creative Artists Agency and United Talent Agency.

“Act Out: Vote2020” is thrilled to collaborate with “The Carlos Watson Show” and OZY Media who will amplify the project through their channels, featuring a special episode about voting, with playwrights from the project including Danai Gurira, Oct. 30 at 1:00 p.m. ET / 10:00 a.m. PT. Please tune in on “The Carlos Watson Show” YouTube channel (youtube.com/ozy).

Participating theaters include Alabama Shakespeare Festival; Alliance Theater; American Conservatory Theater, San Francisco; Alley Theatre; Arena Stage; Baltimore Center Stage; California Shakespeare Theater; Center Theatre Group; Cleveland Playhouse; Dallas Theater Center; East West Players; Guthrie Theater; Horizon Theatre Company; La Jolla Playhouse; Long Wharf Theatre; Mixed Blood Theatre Company; New Native Theatre; New Repertory Theater; Oregon Shakespeare Festival; Pittsburgh Public Theater; Plan-B Theatre Company; The Public Theater; Repertory Theatre of St. Louis; Syracuse Stage; Trustus Theatre; and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company.

Theater organizations that are interested in joining this effort should contact organizers via this form: http://bit.ly/ActOut2020JoinUs.

For further information, please visit www.ActOutVote2020.com, and subscribe to receive a notification when the video premieres.

When We All Vote is a national, nonpartisan nonprofit that brings together citizens, institutions, brands and organizations to increase participation in every election. Launched by Michelle Obama, the organization is committed to closing the race and age voting gap and empowering all eligible voters to cast their ballot by harnessing grassroots energy, establishing strategic partnerships and implementing digital organizing strategies, with the ultimate goal of changing the culture around voting. Michelle Obama is joined in this effort by fellow Co-Chairs Tom Hanks, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Janelle Monáe, Chris Paul, Faith Hill, Selena Gomez, Liza Koshy, Megan Rapinoe, Shonda Rhimes, Tracee Ellis Ross, Kerry Washington, and Rita Wilson. In the lead up to the 2018 Midterm Elections, When We All Vote organized over 2,500 local voter registration events across the country, engaged 200 million Americans online about the significance of voting, and texted nearly 4 million voters the resources to register and get out to vote. In 2020, When We All Vote is helping to lead in voter education, registration, and volunteer engagement. In response to COVID-19, When We All Vote is leading the fight for fair and safe elections by supporting the expansion of access to vote-by-mail, early in-person voting, and online voter registration so every American can make their voices heard on Election Day. 

www.ActOutVote2020.com