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Watch The Neo-Futurists Predict A Very 'Bored' President Trump

By Rachel Cromidas in Arts & Entertainment on Nov 10, 2016 8:45PM

Few things have given us comfort since we woke up Wednesday morning to the news that self-admitted groper of women Donald Trump was our president-elect.

But one small source of solace we keep returning to is this performance from the Chicago chapter of the Neo-Futurists, written and performed late-last year, that imagines America a year into a Donald Trump's presidency. It's called, "Make America Steak Again."

In the play, written by artistic director and ensemble member Kurt Chiang in the two-minute-long style of the Neo-Futurists' long-running Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind show, both Chiang and, by extension, America are in a domestic relationship with future-President Trump. Chiang says he cooks Trump a steak every weekend for dinner, but Trump grows bored—bored with the perfect steak, and bored with running the country—and some existential hi-jinx ensue.

In the end, the cast releases Trump from his duties as president, telling him he is free to go if he doesn't want to be president any more. It's a sentiment that feels very real for us right now, too:

We called Chiang Thursday afternoon to ask why he wrote "Make America Steak Again," and how he believes the performance piece holds up in our new reality.

What were you thinking about when you first wrote the play?

I would definitely want to write a new play, now. This was even before he had been elected into the primary, and in writing that play, it was very much a serious response to the idea that he would be in the [White House]. I didn't want it to be just like, a frivolous attack on the possibility of him being it, and by no means did I actually think he had a chance at that point. But I still don't believe he actually seriously wants to be there and take the position seriously, and I think that's where the play stands up.

What does the play depict?

It's imagining this idea that I'm cooking for him, that me and him are in a really banal, domestic existence in the White House, that we would be in this marriage, me and him, me, him and the entire country, and he would get bored, because that's who I believe he is in his heart. We'll never know, but I want to know the day that he gets incredibly bored being in there, because it's going to come. But I know he won't say that out loud.

That's definitely where [the play] came from, and now that it's actually a reality, I'd hate for the play being viewed as an immediate response. I think it deserves its place as what it is, but I think there are other things to respond to now. [The Neo-Futurist ensemble] is actually working on that now in the home show [of TML].

How can TML fans expect the ensemble to respond to the election this weekend and in the future?

So, it's kind of a funny thing; we rehearse every single Tuesday to write and pick for the show that weekend, and we're writing between basically Sunday night to 7 o'clock on Tuesday. So we know on Tuesday that we're going to be performing in the future on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. We were faced with a weird task of having to write a play on Tuesday night without knowing the election results, but still considering that the world was going to change in some way and that the audience, if we're going to make an immediate show speaking to the now, that's an expectation the audience has. But we didn't know what was going to happen.

We wrote plays that could address the election as best we could, and thought, maybe there was a play that would be ambiguous in some way. There is one play in the show this week that does address, it's a personal response from one of our ensemble members in a way, but it does address this. It feels immediate but in a way it's from the past. the play will kind of speak for itself when it gets shown this weekend.

Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind is in an open run at The Neo-Futurists, 5153 N. Ashland Ave., Fridays and Saturdays at 11:30 p.m.; Sundays at 7 p.m.