Virtual Theater Review: WE LIVE ON (Actors’ Gang)

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by Lamont Williams on August 15, 2021

in Theater-Los Angeles,Virtual

WE LIVE ON

Based on HARD TIMES by STUDS TERKEL
With additional text by Tim Robbins and The Cast

Directed by TIM ROBBINS
Music Director – David Robbins
Music performed by Cameron Dye

Cars waiting in long lines for food. People being evicted and their possessions being repossessed. Tent cities of the homeless and destitute rising up in places they had not been before. New immigrants being attacked and marginalized and blamed for society’s ills.  

Fifty-one years ago in 1970, author and chronicler of the common man, Studs Terkel, interviewed businessmen, auto workers, farmers, hobos, striptease artists, repo men, seamstresses, and labor leaders and asked them what it was like to live through the Great Depression. Their words of survival — published as Hard Times — have a direct link to the challenges faced worldwide during the COVID pandemic and other challenges we face today.

About a year ago, faced with the inability to assemble in the theater, The Actors’ Gang started working via zoom to adapt Terkel’s masterpiece. The production explores 30 different tales — a mix of stories documented by Terkel and original stories from the family histories of cast members — of courage and determination.

This testimony of what it takes to survive unprecedented times are now presented over three different performances. And given the limitations of live theater on Zoom, the enterprise is surprisingly effective. While each one-hour episode stands on its own, Stage and Cinema recommends you see all three. Every part presents ten stories. The virtual production, which plays live, will run through September 4, 2021 (see dates, times, and get tickets here). Audiences around the globe can also join an online prerecorded screening every Sunday, through September 5 at 9am (Part I), 10:30am (Part II), and 12pm (Part III).

The Actors’ Gang Theater strives to make its content accessible to all patrons. Admission is Pay What You Can but the theater is extending free tickets to patrons who can’t afford to make a donation. For additional information or if you have questions, need assistance, or access to free tickets, please email at BoxOffice@TheActorsGang.com.

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