Meet the Playwright: Bill Gibson

A caustic comedy about the corporatization of religion, Christ America rounds out this summer’s Bare Essentials Reading Series this Tuesday night. Penned by Bill Gibson of Alpharetta, GA.

Tell us a little bit about the play we’ll be hearing Tuesday night.
Set in the corporate world of the near future, Christ America is about how companies profit from peoples’ fears, including their religious beliefs.

BRITT WACKENHUTT is a sales executive who, having been unemployed for 9 months, is under financial and other pressures to gain employment in an unhealthy economic climate.

After responding to a newspaper ad for a Sales Manager for Banquets and Other Special Events, and encouraged by the possibility of finally finding employment, Britt drives hundreds of miles to Atlanta for an interview with PETER PAUL SKYLER, a manager at Christ America Suites and Entertainment Center. Despite his surprise when he sees Skyler dressed like Christ, Britt attempts to demonstrate his competence, his compatibility with Christ’s corporate culture and his willingness to embrace their core, Christian values.

What inspired you to write this play?
I write about what I know, including what I observe. (That’s how I came to write this play: by observing the religious folks on TV and other media.)

When did you first start writing plays?
In 1994 I attended a play workshop at Emory and then joined the Southeast Playwright’s Project. My first play was produced in 1996 and my first full-length, Warts, won the Essential Theatre Playwriting Award in 2002. Since then I have had about 20 plays produced in Atlanta, New York and elsewhere.

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Christ America will be read at the West End Performing Arts Center on Tuesday,  August 12 at 7:30pm.

Directed by Peter Hardy and featuring the reading talents of James Baskin, Aaron Gotlieb, Ashleigh Hoppe, Marc Gowan and Pat Hurley.

All readings are free and open to the public, donations gladly accepted.

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