announcing a “BOLD conversation!”

announcing a “BOLD conversation!”

September 21, 2022
Join us for a post-show conversation!
October 2nd, following the 3 PM matinee.

“America 2022: Exploration of the Divide”

Will Arbery’s Heroes of the Fourth Turning provides a glimpse of a worldview (long present in our civic discourse) that has increasingly imposed itself onto the social consciousness of contemporary American society. How society chooses to engage with this worldview demands an understanding of the fundamental ways in which culture, belief, and identity blend to form a philosophy of how to live and be.


Marianna Bassham (Director) is so excited to be directing again at SpeakEasy, having previously helmed Every Brilliant Thing.  Her SpeakEasy acting credits include Blackbird (Norton Award); A Future Perfect; Reckless; In The Next Room (or the vibrator play); Admissions; Hand to God; Small Mouth Sounds (live as the unseen teacher!); and People, Places & Things (Norton Award). She has also appeared with The Huntington, Playwrights Horizons, Actors’ Shakespeare Project, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, Underground Railway Theater, Greater Boston Stage Company, and many others. Marianna teaches acting at Boston Conservatory at Berklee.

Eitan Hersh is associate professor of political science at Tufts University. His research focuses on US elections, voting rights, and civic participation. Hersh is the author of Politics is for Power (Scribner, 2020) and Hacking the Electorate (Cambridge UP 2015), as well as many scholarly articles. Hersh earned his PhD from Harvard in 2011 and served as assistant professor of political science at Yale University from 2011-2017. His public writings have appeared in venues such as the New York Times, USA Today, The Atlantic, POLITICO, and the Boston Globe. Hersh regularly testifies in voting rights court cases and has testified to the US Senate Committee on the Judiciary about the role of data analytics in political campaigns. In addition to work on elections and civic engagement, Hersh has written on topics ranging from antisemitism and the political consequences of terrorist attacks to politicization in health care delivery and the opioid crisis. His next book is about the civic role of business leaders.

Phillip Martin, senior investigative reporter for the GBH News Center for Investigative Reporting, is a multi-award-winning journalist. Honors include three National Edward R. Murrow Awards for investigative reporting (2022, 2019, 2014), and the 2017 National Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi Award.  He is also the recipient of the 2013 New York Festivals Gold Award and the 2013 United Nations UNDPI Gold Award. He was part of a team of reporters that was honored in 2002 with a George Foster Peabody Award to NPR for coverage of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S. He has received numerous other journalism and civic engagement honors over the course of his career including several AP, 6 NABJ Salute to Excellence Awards, 10 regional Edward R. Murrow awards, AAJA, Ruben Salazar, Gabriel, Prized Pieces, PRNDI, Harry Chapin and Clarion awards. WGBH also awarded Phillip one of its highest honors, the Margret and Hans Rey Producer of the Year Award (2011-2012).

Phillip is a Fall 2022 Shorenstein Fellow at Harvard University, a former Harvard University Nieman Fellow (1997-98), and a Pulitzer-Center grantee (2018). 

Sarah Riccardi-Swartz is an assistant professor of religion and anthropology at Northeastern University, where she is also an affiliate faculty member in the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program. Before joining Northeastern University she was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Recovering Truth: Religion, Journalism, and Democracy in a Post-Truth Era project at the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict (Arizona State University). She has a Ph.D. in Sociocultural Anthropology from New York University. After completing an honors B.A. and M.A. in Religious Studies (American religions) at Missouri State University, she attended NYU to study and research religion and politics in the United States from an anthropological perspective. Along the way, she obtained a graduate certificate in Culture and Media (ethnographic filmmaking) and an M.Phil in Anthropology from NYU. Her research focuses on conservative politics, race, media worlds, exvangelicals, and Orthodox Christianity.

Regine Vital (Moderator) returns to SpeakEasy having previously served as Assistant Director and Dramaturg for Once on This Island. She has worked with several Boston-area institutions, including The Huntington, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, ArtsEmerson, Company One, Central Square Theater, BU School of Theatre, Moonbox Productions, Hub Theatre Company, Fresh Ink Theatre, and Flat Earth Theatre. Regine is a member of the TC Squared and Playable Theatre boards and frequently collaborates with Green Door Labs on interactive/immersive theatre productions. She is also an educator at the high school and college levels, teaching text/performance, performance studies, public speaking, introductory literature, and composition.

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