Fresh off receiving the 2019 John Aniello Award for Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company, Ally will open its third season with the regional premiere of Naomi Wallace’s The War Boys. First produced in London in 1993, The War Boys is more relevant than ever. Set on the Texas/Mexico border, David, George, and Greg, three childhood friends turned vigilante border patrol, spend their nights antagonizing both themselves and those they catch trying to cross the border. But these youths soon learn that even the most guarded borders are permeable. When the lines between fantasy and reality become dangerously blurred, each of the boys is forced to decide what it means to be an American, and who has the right to belong.
“As I watch the events unfolding at the border, I have felt confused and helpless”, says director Matt Ripa. “I wanted to better understand how another person can be filled with such hate and animosity toward folks trying to cross the border.The War Boys examines how America is unique in its brutality towards the ‘other’ and how xenophobia and racism is in the very fiber of our country.”
The plays stars Eli Pendry as college educated and privileged David, Robert Pike as the perpetual underdog George, and Jhonny Maldonado as Greg, the emotional center of the play, who struggles with his own personal border as a Mexican American.
Asked about his response upon first reading the play, Maldonado says, “I was thrown back. Honestly, I had no words. I didn’t know how to process what I just read but what I did know was that I wanted to get to know these boys and understand their stories. Seeing and hearing everything that is happening in our world today is very hard to swallow. Though The War Boys is very similar to some of our current events, which is very shocking, it gives us a chance to see both sides of America and have an open dialogue.”
Alongside the run, Ally is partnering with several community organizations to provide resources for both allies and vulnerable members of the community. Additional programming including post-show discussions with juxtaposing viewpoints are planned.
Says Ripa, “I am excited about the conversations that this play raises. Conversations about toxic masculinity, the policing of the southern border, and economic class are all important issues that need to be discussed.”
The War Boys
By Naomi Wallace
Directed by Matt Ripa
Produced by Ally Theatre Company
August 9-31st at Joe’s Movement Emporium
Starring Eli Pendry, Robert Pike, and Jhonny Maldonado
Producers: Ty Hallmark and Tai Alexander Production Manager: Alex Davis
Stage Manager: Aletha Saunders
Fight and Intimacy Choreography: Chris Niebling Set Design: Emily Lotz
Costume Design: Julie Cray Leong Lighting Design: Katie McCreary Sound Design: Niusha Nawab
Press are invited to attend special press performances on Saturday August 10th at 2PM and Sunday August 11th at 4PM. To make reservations, please contact Ty Hallmark at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The War Boys runs August 9-31st at Joe’s Movement Emporium, 3309 Bunker Hill Road, Mount Rainier, MD. Performances are Thursday-Saturday at 8PM, Saturday at 2PM, Sunday at 4PM. Show time is approximately 70 minutes with no intermission. Special performance on Monday August 19th at 8PM
General Admission: $25
To purchase tickets visit https://joesmovement.secure.force.com/ticket#details_a0O1Y00000ZWpi2UAD or call the Box Office at 301-699-1819
Content warning: This play contains adult content including acts of violence, guns, partial nudity, simulated sexual activity/assault, simulated masturbation, racist, xenophobic, and misogynist language. Ally recommends this for ages 16 and up.
Ally Theatre Company is committed to producing theatre designed to acknowledge and confront systemic oppression in America. This upcoming season marks their third year of residency at Joe’s Movement Emporium in Mount Rainier, Maryland.