I N T E R N A T I O N A L C I T Y T H E A T R E
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ICT streams virtual presentation of ‘Daisy’ in final weeks leading up to election
Compelling drama based on true events recounts creation of first political attack ad
LONG BEACH, Calif. (Oct. 14, 2020) — As the final weeks of the presidential campaign draw to a close, International City Theatre will stream a virtual presentation of Daisy, a fascinating look at the creation of and psychology behind TV’s first political attack ad. Set during the 1964 presidential campaign that pitted “Great Society” Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson against Republican populist Barry Goldwater, Sean Devine’s compelling drama takes us behind the scenes to advertising firm Doyle Dane Bernbach on Saturday, Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. PT. / 10 p.m. ET. Tickets are $20.00 at www.InternationalCityTheatre.org, where Daisy will remain available for viewing on demand through Nov. 7.
Based on true events and strikingly relevant today, Daisy explores the moment in TV history when the political attack ad was born. In the autumn of 1964, bloody turmoil over Civil Rights was spilling onto the streets, a fearful ideology that made the threat of nuclear war palpable was growing from the conservative right, and a skirmish in the far-off nation of Vietnam wouldn’t go away. With the presidential election looming, an advertising agency working for Lyndon Johnson unleashed the most devastating political commercial ever conceived, the “Daisy” ad. It was so controversial at the time that it only aired once.
“History plays are more than reflections on our past,” explains Devine. “They shine new light on our present. And if they’re based on incidents of enduring currency, if they dramatize individuals of rare genius, then our ever shifting present will continue to be illuminated by these stories.”
According to political strategist and media consultant Joe Slade White, who wrote the foreword to the published script, “Sean Devine has written a powerful play about a remarkable moment in history — a moment so decisive that one 30-second television commercial could determine the direction of a country. To this day, that commercial, the ‘Daisy’ spot, is studied, argued over, and talked about 53 years after it aired — just once.”
ICT producing artistic director caryn desai [sic] directs Ed F. Martin as agency head Bill Bernbach, Alex Dabestani as art director Sid Myers, Erin Anne Williams as copywriter Louise Brown and Matthew Floyd Miller as television producer Aaron Ehrlich. Phillip J. Lewis plays White House lawyer Clifford Lewis. Finally, David Nevell takes on the role of eccentric sound man and legendary communications guru Tony Schwartz, the man behind the commercial that may have fundamentally changed how we elect our leaders.
Originally commissioned by the Ensemble Studio Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Science & Technology Project, Daisy premiered in 2016 at ACT–A Contemporary Theatre in Seattle, Washington, where it was the winner of the Broadway World Seattle Critic’s Choice Award for best new play and received a Gregory Award nomination for outstanding new play.
“Daisy is a story that, through history’s irritating tendency to repeat itself…resonates so deeply with our current moment that it should be required viewing for all registered voters,” wrote the Seattle Weekly.
The creative team behind ICT’s streaming version includes costume designer Kim DeShazo, projections and sound designer Dave Mickey, wig designer Anthony Gagliardi, prop master Patty Briles; video editor Mike Bradecich and casting director Michael Donovan.
For more information or to purchase tickets, go to InternationalCityTheatre.org.
Details for Calendar Listings
Daisy — As the final weeks of the presidential campaign draw to a close, International City Theatre streams a virtual presentation of Sean Devine’s compelling historical drama, a fascinating look at the creation of and psychology behind TV’s first political attack ad.
• Written by Sean Devine
• Directed and Produced by caryn desai [sic]
• Starring Alex Dabestani, Phillip J. Lewis, Ed F. Martin, Matthew Floyd Miller, David Nevell, Erin Anne Williams
• Costume Design by Kim DeShazo
• Projections and Sound by Dave Mickey
• Props by Patty Briles
• Wigs by Anthony Gagliardi
• Video Editor Mike Bradecich
• Presented by International City Theatre
Streaming on demand:
Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. PT. / 10 p.m. ET through Nov. 7
Available for streaming at www.InternationalCityTheatre.or