WASHINGTON—After left-wing activists tried to shut down “FBI Lovebirds: UnderCovers,” a new play that throws a spotlight on so-called Deep State efforts to overthrow the duly elected 45th president of the United States, the play’s producers announced this show will go on next week as scheduled.
On May 29, the Studio/Mead Theatre had canceled the booking, claiming “threats of violence” were made.
In an exclusive interview with The Epoch Times on June 5, play producer and conservative culture warrior Phelim McAleer denounced as “censorship” the cancellation of the play Politico newspaper described as “Hamilton for the Make America Great Again crowd.”
McAleer and his wife and co-producer, Ann McElhinney, said the production will take place before a live audience in the amphitheater at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center on June 13, the original date scheduled for the performance. The production is being financed by crowdfunding at FBILovebirds.com. The new venue is a few blocks away from the White House.
“FBI Lovebirds: UnderCovers” is a dramatic staged reading of text messages between Trump-nemesis and senior FBI agent Peter Strzok and his lover and FBI lawyer, Lisa Page, and their subsequent interrogation by a congressional committee. Actors Dean Cain (“Gosnell,” “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman”) and Kristy Swanson (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Pretty in Pink”) will portray Strzok and Page.
“This is a victory for artistic freedom and the truth, and a victory over the cowards who tried to stop the play,” McAleer said.
“It’s great to be able to put the truth about these ‘Deep State’ shenanigans on the stage and release it online so everyone can see what was really going on behind closed doors.”
“FBI Lovebirds: UnderCovers” will be filmed and uploaded to YouTube after the performance. The play is directed by veteran theater director Richard Kuhl.
The style of production is called “verbatim theater, which came out of the UK,” McAleer explained. Also called “documentary theater,” it consists of actors reading from actual documents relevant to the subject of the play, in this case from text messages sent between Strzok and Page.
McAleer isn’t easily intimidated.
“I paper the wall of my living room with the lawsuits I get. It’s the price of telling the truth,” he said.
The left tried to shut down two other verbatim-theater plays McAleer was involved with.
An earlier play by McAleer called “Ferguson” tackled the August 2014 shooting of black teenager Michael Brown, who was killed as he tried to assault white police officer Darren Wilson with his own gun in Ferguson, Missouri. It was performed in New York City and California.
The script was compiled from grand jury testimony from the probe into Brown’s death. Wilson was ultimately exonerated, but not before his name was blackened by then-Attorney General Eric Holder and the mainstream media, which lied about the facts of the case.
Another play, called “The $18-Billion Prize,” was written by McAleer and Jonathan Leaf.
It recounted Chevron’s high-profile battle with radical environmentalists over alleged pollution in the Amazon region of Ecuador and was based on testimony from a six-week corruption trial. In that trial, the court found that an $18 billion judgment obtained against Chevron was based on bribery and blackmail of judges in Ecuador.
According to McAleer, the left doesn’t allow certain sacred left-wing narratives, for example, that cops are racist and oil companies are evil, to be challenged.
“I think that’s what really gets the left scared and the artistic world scared. If I made up scenes they could dismiss, but when it’s verbatim they know it’s the truth, and it really freaks them out,” McAleer said.
“They view the truth as a threat.”
One particularly infamous email exchange between the two anti-Trump plotters references an “insurance policy” before the November 2016 presidential election in the event Trump were to win the presidency. The allusion was widely interpreted to refer to illegitimate efforts to bring down President Trump, including the phony Russian dossier on Trump assembled by former British spy Christopher Steele.
“I think people need to see these text messages,” McAleer told The Epoch Times.
“They need to see how these people were conspiring behind closed doors to thwart … and try and undermine his presidency.
“They’re involved in extreme malfeasance and they were extremely powerful and people need to know that.”
According to McAleer, the Studio/Mead Theatre lacked the moral fortitude to allow the play to move forward, perhaps because it didn’t want to be associated with anything pro-Trump.
“I think what really freaked out the theater was that we were going to film it and put it online for free,” he said.
In the new venue, the live taping of the play will still happen, he said. “We’re having three cameras and we’re going to film and we’re going to release it online.”
Left-wing activists also tried to silence McAleer’s successful cinematic offering last year but failed in the end.
The feature film, “Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer,” opened in movie theaters nationwide in October 2018.
Directed by Nick Searcy and co-produced by McAleer and McElhinney, the film examined the infamous career of Kermit Gosnell, who in 2013 was found guilty of murdering three newborn infants at his abortion and illegal prescription-writing mill in Philadelphia.
When babies were born alive, Gosnell would sever their spinal cords, in a practice known around his office as “snipping.” Gosnell accepted a sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole after the state agreed not to seek the death penalty.
Facebook and NPR refused to carry ads for the movie. Kickstarter refused to allow its crowd-funding site to be used to raise funds for the production, although its competitor, Indiegogo, accepted the campaign.
McAleer and McElhinney have also produced the documentary films “Frack Nation,” “Not Evil Just Wrong,” and “Mine Your Own Business.”
“There’s no diversity in the arts world, particularly the theater world,” McAleer said.
“There’s no diversity in the entertainment world. They hate diversity of thought. They hate anything that questions them. They’re so busy giving themselves awards for bravery that they don’t realize how cowardly they really are.”
This article by Matthew Vadum appeared June 6, 2019, in The Epoch Times.