All the Way

All the Way

April 21 - May 7
Produced by Veterans in Performing Arts

Veterans In Performing Arts- VIPA is proud to present the New Hampshire premiere of Robert Schenkkan’s searing political drama, All The Way, about President Lyndon Baines Johnson’s sudden ascension to the Presidency after John F Kennedy is assassinated, and his seemingly sudden attempt to get an historic bill passed to ensure civil rights for all Americans.

LBJ (Don Goettler) and his potential Vice-Presidential candidate, Hubert Humphrey (Jim Sears) must, with the aid of their allies Walter Jenkins (VIPA member and Army Veteran Kevin Dumont) and others, convince Congress to pass a bill guaranteeing the rights of all Americans, particularly African-Americans, during a turbulent time in American history. He works against the advice of his mentor and long-time friend Senator Richard “Uncle Dick” Russell, Jr. (Gary Locke) and the Dixiecrats.

Martin Luther King (Kevin Wade Mitchell) must deal with tension at home with his wife, Coretta Scott King (VIPA newcomer Elisa Kelley Longuil) while also keeping his allies Ralph Abernathy (Jay Street) , Stokely Carmichael (Tom Holland), Fannie Lou Hamer (Sandi Clark) and others from infighting.

All-powerful FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover (VIPA member and Army Veteran Scott Degan) and his allies work to undermine the efforts of Dr. King and his movement through wiretapping, eavesdropping and subterfuge, while Governor George Wallace (Richard Harris) , who, along with his wife Lurleen (Samantha Pannier), is angling for the Democratic nomination for the presidency, Senator Jim Eastland (Matthew Schofield) and others work to undermine LBJ politically.

With his wife Lady Bird (Deirdre Hickok Bridge), by his side, LBJ must fight his feelings of being an imposter to the presidency while also trying to fulfill the goal of civil rights without fracturing the Democratic Party, including trying to convince Senator Everett Dirksen (Gregg Di Chiara) and others to swing votes towards the way of freedom and change.

The fight for the Civil Rights Law becomes more urgent as three civil rights workers disappear in Mississippi and the tension in the nation mounts over the social unrest and rumors of US military involvement in a far-away country in Asia called Vietnam.

Written with the template of William Shakespeare’s plays, the script is structured for fewer than twenty actors to play up to 60 roles, and fills the stage at The Players’ Ring.

Combined with video from the era, live singing (aided by local vocal phenom Yamica Peterson-Cain) and a large cast, this show comes to life to bring one of our most complicated, Shakespearean leaders into focus as he begins his work for his vision of a “Great Society”.

There will also be a special lobby display set up by Zhana Jennifer Morris and Sandi Clark for the run of the show to help highlight the historical aspect of the show’s events.

Winner of several awards, including the Tony Award for Best Play, Schenkkan’s story has been hailed as one of the best modern plays to be produced, and broke several records during its run at American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, MA. And on Broadway.

Veterans In Performing Arts- VIPA is an official 501 (c) (3) (not for profit) founded several years ago by members of New Hampshire’s own 3/172nd Mountain Infantry Company, including the late Timmy Plaisted, dedicated to integrating military Veterans into the performing arts.

Please note that Sun., May 7 will be the ONLY matinee performance.

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