(Lehigh Valley)   Selkie Theatre returns to the IceHouse Tonight Series with #RESIST: A Politically -Charged Play Reading Festival, a high energy weekend (September 15-17) offering concert readings of provocative classic and contemporary plays, late night cabaret, artist receptions, music, and an all-new take on The Living Newspaper.

#RESIST MAINSTAGE

At the center of #RESIST are 3 readings, of full-length, published, nationally-produced scripts by award-winning playwrights that speak to this American moment.

#RESIST kicks off on Friday, September 15 at 8pm with IVANKA, a savage satire written by Joshua Harmon (Bad Jews, Significant Others) and directed by Tim Brown.

Written on the eve of the 2016 election, IVANKA is a modern-day Greek tragedy about loyalty, morality, and extreme times, with backup from Omarosa, Chris Christie, and the Sisterhood of the Park East Synagogue.

With her father nearing the White House and his hateful rhetoric growing ever more extreme, dutiful daughter Ivanka Trump has had enough: She’s withdrawn her support from her father’s campaign. In retaliation, her father vows to evict her-from her luxury apartment - and the country itself. Now Ivanka faces disgrace in her father’s world: Can she live in exile? Where does her loyalty lie-to family or to country? And just what lengths will she go to to change the story of her family’s name?

“At its core, IVANKA is an act of civil disobedience,” says Harmon. “We know all too well the suffering that ensues when good people remain silent. This play is my answer to the question, ‘What did you do to try to stop Trump's rise to power?’ “.

Immigration takes the stage on Saturday, September 16 at 8pm with BUILDING THE WALL, a terrifyingly timely new play by Pulitzer Prize / Tony Award-winning playwright Robert Schenkkan (The Kentucky Cycle, All the Way) and directed by George B. Miller, with live music from Silagh White..

BUILDING THE WALL imagines a very near future where President Trump’s anti-immigration campaign rhetoric is turned into harrowing reality. Millions of undocumented immigrants are rounded up and detained, overflowing private prisons and incarceration camps. Now, a historian interviews the supervisor of a private prison as he awaits sentencing for carrying out the federal policy that has escalated into the unimaginable. This riveting, illuminating drama delivers a powerful warning and puts a human face on the inhuman, revealing how, when personal accountability is denied, what seems inconceivable becomes inevitable.

Schenkkan wrote the script in a “white-hot fury” just prior to Election Day 2016. “We no longer live in a world that is business as usual—Trump has made that very clear—and if theater is going to remain relevant,”, says Schenkken, “we must become faster to respond. We cannot hope to be useful if we can’t respond until 18 months after the fact.”

Within a week of the 2016 election, Sinclair Lewis’ darkly satirical novel IT CAN’T HAPPEN HERE was sold out on Amazon.com. It seems a fitting way to close the #RESIST Festival on Sunday, September 17 at 3pm, directed by Kate Scuffle.

Written in 1935 during the rise of fascism in Europe, this dystopian tale follows the ascent of a demagogue who becomes president of the United States by promising to return the country to greatness. Witnessing the new president’s authoritarian tyranny from the sidelines is Doremus Jessup, a liberal, middle-class newspaper editor from Vermont who sees something dark and terrible brewing in American politics — the potential for “a real fascist dictatorship”. Sound familiar?

Under the auspices of the WPA’s Federal Theatre Project Director, Hallie Flanagan, Lewis adapted his best-selling novel into a play. In 1936, 22 theatres in 18 cities across the country opened Federal Theatre productions of it on the same night.

"We want to do IT CAN'T HAPPEN HERE because it is a play about American life today, based on a passionate belief in American democracy”, said Flanagan that night. “The play says that when dictatorship comes to threaten such a democracy, it comes in an apparently harmless guise, with parades and promises; but that when such dictatorship arrives, the promises are not kept and the parade grounds become encampments.

Each #RESIST Mainstage reading will be followed by a Meet The Artist Reception in the spacious Ice House lobby.

But - there is still more programming in this woke weekend. Both the New Living Newspaper and the Late Night (Comedy) Cabaret showcase have been created by our own area artists, members of the #RESIST Ensemble.

RIPPED FROM THE HEADLINES: A New Living Newspaper

Created and directed by George B. Miller & Kate Scuffle

Saturday 9/16 @ 3pm

Inspired by the WPA Federal Theatre’s legendary Living Newspapers, RIPPED FROM THE HEADLINES is a a strong, rich brew of American voices responding to the Trump campaign/presidency…letters, poetry, resignations, essays, live music, musings, dreams, Twitter-storms, and more from women, immigrants, journalists, citizens, and artists of all races and creeds, shared by the #RESIST Ensemble.

Created and directed by George B. Miller & Kate Scuffle, RIPPED FROM THE HEADLINES will take the Ice House cabaret stage at 3pm on Saturday, September 16.

THE LATE NIGHT (COMEDY) CABARET

Created & Directed by Syd Stauffer

Saturday 9/15 @ 10:15pm

Comedians, often called court jesters or fools in the past, have a long history of using humor to speak uncomfortable truths, and comics like Samantha Bee, Stephen Colbert and SNL often seem braver souls than the DNC leaders. Join us for politically-charged comedic catharsis and wicked satire with some of the Lehigh Valley’s most fearless fools and wise wits. Created and directed by Syd Stauffer.

#RESIST: A POLITICALLY-CHARGED PLAY READING FESTIVAL is produced by Selkie Theatre as part of the Ice House Tonight Series, and takes place September 15, 16, 17 in the upstairs theatre at The Ice House on Sand Island in Bethlehem (GPS: 56 River St, Bethlehem, PA 18018). Tickets: $10/8 for Mainstage readings/receptions. 3 Show Pass just $20. The New Living Newspaper & Late Night (Comedy) Cabaret: $5 apiece. Tickets may be reserved or are available at the door. Box office is cash only.

Selkie Theatre is a “dual-citizenship” theatre company, founded in 2006 by George B Miller & Kate Scuffle as an extension of 18 years of award-winning work as the original Theatre Outlet. Selkie produces in both Ireland & the US. Find Selkie on Facebook and Twitter.

For reservations, media comps, interviews, or more information, contact Kate Scuffle at Selkie Theatre at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or text/call 484-241-9591.