Karli Shields’ play The Fall of Autumn Summers was a finalist in this year’s ONSTAGE Fest: Curves Ahead. I love this play. It tickled me from the very start of this year’s competition – not only did it feel incredibly timely (we do have a reality star and fabulist not only running for President of the good ‘ol US-of-A, but actually standing a good chance of taking the vote…) but it was also just so much fun to read (and I imagine to act in!) It was a very tough call not to include it in our final line-up, and I’ve kept it in mind ever since.
Once I knew I was going to launch We’re Not Playing, I knew I had to get in touch with Karli to see if she’d be willing to let us share the play here – and talk about how much we love it. I am so happy she said “Yes!”, and I’d like to share what Karli said about her inspiration for the play:
The character of Autumn came to me before any talk of giant walls or banning an entire religion, so it is funny how perfectly she fits into the 2016 election cycle–funny how easily a person with zero political experience can assume power on the basis of empty, futile, and unrealistic promises to constituents. Of course, the ramifications of Autumn’s presidency are not quite as extreme, but her promise to make Andrew Jackson High School great again unsurprisingly fell short.
Although 2016 has made it difficult to believe at times, I wholeheartedly believe that democracy in America works… when we make it work. To protest by not voting–or even, in this particular election cycle, by voting third party–is a vote for an America that no one can–or, quite frankly, should–deliver. America’s political system should be a world standard, not a joke, and it is up to us to make sure our democracy stays in tact and respected throughout the world.
More about this fabulous playwright:
Karli Shields graduated this spring with a BA in Creative Writing from Knox College in Galesburg, IL. She is currently interning for Disney in Anaheim, CA, and hopes to go on to write for television and be able to afford both LA rent and a vegetable once or twice a week.