In the Field; Conceiving Satire: The Making of This Is The Week That Is, a special documentary commissioned by American Theatre Wing to document the creative process behind 1812 Productions’ hit political satire This Is The Week That Is has been nominated for a Mid-Atlantic Emmy Award for Arts Program/Special. Filmed over the course of three months in 2018, In the Field; Conceiving Satire: The Making of This Is The Week That Is followed the cast and creative team of This Is The Week That Is from their initial roundtable conversations through a fully realized production, exploring the show’s history and the role of theatre and comedy in American politics.
Heather Hitchens, President and CEO of American Theatre Wing, says of the nomination, “Working with 1812 Productions and exploring their work in theatre through this Arts Special reinforces our mission to showcase the power of theatre and encourage empathy through storytelling. We are emboldened by this honor and by working again with 1812 Productions and the Philadelphia community.”
Inspired by the 1960s British television satire That Was The Week That Was, and created by 1812 Productions’ Producing Artistic Director Jennifer Childs, This Is The Week That Is has been a staple of the Philadelphia theatre season for the past 13 years. Featuring a script that changes nightly, improvised comedy, musical parodies, and a versatile cast of Philadelphia performers, This Is The Week That Iscontinues its mission to “Tell the truth and make it funny,” an edict given by comedy legend Mort Sahl. Ms. Childs adds, “In its history, This Is The Week That Is has evolved from being a stand-alone production to an annual tradition that brings much needed laughter to Philadelphia audiences. It was an honor to have that process recognized by the American Theatre Wing and to collaborate with them on this documentary—this further recognition is really exciting!”
The project was filmed by Capture, a Philadelphia-based video production firm led by Jorge Cousineau. Cousineau is also an award-winning lighting, scenic, and video designer whose work has been featured inThis Is The Week That Is for many years. “Having been given the opportunity to document the making of our own work enabled us to explore layers of the process that we might have been unaware of otherwise. In some sense it expanded our horizons by opening ourselves to an outsider’s perspective,” said Cousineau. “It’s an incredible honor to see this work reach this level of recognition.”
The 2019 Mid-Atlantic Regional Emmy Awards will be presented Saturday, September 28, 2019, at the Wyndham Grand Downtown in Pittsburgh.
This Is The Week That Is will return to the stage November 29, 2019 thru January 5, 2020 starring Philadelphia artists Justin Jain, Sean Close, Tanaquil Márquez, Dave Jadico, Brett Robinson, and Pax Ressler. This new production will be directed by Jennifer Childs and Dan O’Neil with a scenic design by Lance Kniskern, lighting design by Maria Shaplin, costumes by Jillian Keys, and video and sound by Jorge Cousineau. This Is The Week That Is is part of The June and Steve Wolfson Family Foundation Series and welcomes honorary producer Terry Graboyes.
About 1812 Productions
1812 Productions was founded in 1997 and is the only professional theater company in the country dedicated to comedy. 1812 Productions is the recipient of an honorary citation from the City of Philadelphia for outstanding work and commitment to the Philadelphia arts community. In 2010 and 2016, they were among a select group of regional theatre companies to receive a National Theatre Company grant from the American Theatre Wing, founder of the Tony Awards. Their education program, 1812 Outreach, has received multiple nominations and has twice been awarded the Barrymore Award for Excellence in Theatre Education and Community Service. 1812 Productions’ mission is to produce theatrical works of comedy and comedic works of theatre that explore and celebrate our sense of community, our history, and our humanity.
About American Theatre Wing
One hundred years ago, on the eve of America’s entry into World War I, seven suffragists—all women of the theatre—came together to form The Stage Women’s War Relief. A century later, the spirit and vision behind the founding of American Theatre Wing remains a touchstone for all we do. The Wing continues to champion bravery, with a focus on developing the next generation of brave artists. The Wing advances the future of American Theatre by celebrating excellence and nurturing the next generation: on stage, behind the scenes, and in the audience. We envision an American Theatre that is as vital, multi-faceted, and diverse as the American people.
The Wing’s programs span the nation to invest in the growth and evolution of American Theatre. We provide theatre education opportunities for underserved students through the Andrew Lloyd Webber Initiative, develop the next generation of theatre professionals through the SpringboardNYC and Theatre Intern Network programs, incubate innovative theatre across the country through the National Theatre Company Grants, foster the song of American Theatre through the Jonathan Larson® Grants, and illuminate the creative process through the Emmy-nominated “Working in the Theatre” documentary series. In addition to founding the Tony Awards® which are co-presented with The Broadway League, the American Theatre Wing co-presents the Obie Awards®, Off Broadway’s Highest Honor, with The Village Voice.
Visitors to AmericanTheatreWing.org can gain inspiration and insight into the artistic process through the Wing’s extensive media collection, and learn more about its programming for students, aspiring and working professionals, and audiences. Follow the Wing on Twitter and Instagram @TheWing, and onFacebook.com/TheAmericanTheatreWing.