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AmericA, Inc.: A Stage Play

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Based upon dialogue from the stream-of-voice novel by Lentz written in 2007, with uncanny, prophetic accuracy in this dark comedy the USA has incorporated in 2020 into an oligarchy, or "corpor-nation," headed by a President + CEO like Donald Trump. Sub-divided by a great, brick wall into the northern Bluefish and southern Redfish States, AmericA, Inc. is run by President T Based upon dialogue from the stream-of-voice novel by Lentz written in 2007, with uncanny, prophetic accuracy in this dark comedy the USA has incorporated in 2020 into an oligarchy, or "corpor-nation," headed by a President + CEO like Donald Trump. Sub-divided by a great, brick wall into the northern Bluefish and southern Redfish States, AmericA, Inc. is run by President Travis Bash. Perpetually at war, riddled by special interests and voracious for capital, Bash drafts Bob, a destitute Yale poet, to transform America, Inc.'s corporate culture. Bob's job is to market to voter-shareholders the vulgar, bewildering and corrupt culture of this brutal corporate dystopia to increase share value. Nothing is sacred in corporate America or American culture in this hilarious cautionary tale about an oligarchy gone berserk in its relentless pursuit of self-interest and profitability. In a blend of high and low comedy, AmericA, Inc. rings true in a witty, merciless lampoon of the omniscient intrusion of the savage greed of big business into culture, politics, law, religion and everyday life. Lentz innovates with an accessible, darkly comic script to bring characters to life onstage in satire. In AmericA, Inc. Lentz extends the literary bloodline of the rich satire of Gaddis, Beckett, Orwell and Moliere. 


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Based upon dialogue from the stream-of-voice novel by Lentz written in 2007, with uncanny, prophetic accuracy in this dark comedy the USA has incorporated in 2020 into an oligarchy, or "corpor-nation," headed by a President + CEO like Donald Trump. Sub-divided by a great, brick wall into the northern Bluefish and southern Redfish States, AmericA, Inc. is run by President T Based upon dialogue from the stream-of-voice novel by Lentz written in 2007, with uncanny, prophetic accuracy in this dark comedy the USA has incorporated in 2020 into an oligarchy, or "corpor-nation," headed by a President + CEO like Donald Trump. Sub-divided by a great, brick wall into the northern Bluefish and southern Redfish States, AmericA, Inc. is run by President Travis Bash. Perpetually at war, riddled by special interests and voracious for capital, Bash drafts Bob, a destitute Yale poet, to transform America, Inc.'s corporate culture. Bob's job is to market to voter-shareholders the vulgar, bewildering and corrupt culture of this brutal corporate dystopia to increase share value. Nothing is sacred in corporate America or American culture in this hilarious cautionary tale about an oligarchy gone berserk in its relentless pursuit of self-interest and profitability. In a blend of high and low comedy, AmericA, Inc. rings true in a witty, merciless lampoon of the omniscient intrusion of the savage greed of big business into culture, politics, law, religion and everyday life. Lentz innovates with an accessible, darkly comic script to bring characters to life onstage in satire. In AmericA, Inc. Lentz extends the literary bloodline of the rich satire of Gaddis, Beckett, Orwell and Moliere. 

27 review for AmericA, Inc.: A Stage Play

  1. 5 out of 5

    Gary

    Despite my relatively limited exposure to author David B. Lentz, I think it’s fair to say that the James Joyce has significantly influenced his work. In Bloomsday, Mr. Lentz re-imagines Ulysses as an American tale through a lens of distinctly American sensibilities. Similarly, in America Inc.: A Stage Play, Lentz sketches out a lead character, poet Bob (Just), who recalls Joyce’s Stephen Dedalus. Much like Stephen Dedalus, who is doomed to confront the nightmare of history, Bob is destined to co Despite my relatively limited exposure to author David B. Lentz, I think it’s fair to say that the James Joyce has significantly influenced his work. In Bloomsday, Mr. Lentz re-imagines Ulysses as an American tale through a lens of distinctly American sensibilities. Similarly, in America Inc.: A Stage Play, Lentz sketches out a lead character, poet Bob (Just), who recalls Joyce’s Stephen Dedalus. Much like Stephen Dedalus, who is doomed to confront the nightmare of history, Bob is destined to confront the political powers-that-be of 2020, an monolithic institution that can only be describe as a behemoth of power and greed. More on that later. First let me say that the satire that infuses America Inc is barbed with witticisms worthy of the greats—luminaries in the field of political shaming. Luminaries like Voltaire and Sterne. It starts from the opening act—when Bob is called by the CEO of America Inc. to head up the “Department of Korporate Kulture” (a department with a decidedly Germanic handle and one that is only a single “K” off from being the Klan)—and the hits keep coming nonstop until the final credits roll. Believe me when I say, this is funny stuff. Of course, the target of the satire is America Inc., and every scene reveals another layer of depravity and corruption among the leaders of this corpornation. No one is more corrupt, more power hungry, and more purposefully debauched than the CEO himself, Travis T. Bash. Under Bash’s command, the country has run totally amok: the Supreme Court has been disbanded, a great brick wall is being built between the Redfish and Bluefish states, the citizens—ie. shareholders—are forced into the Suicide by 95 program, or worse, gassed and made into dog food, and the list goes on and on. In fact, it seems no political stone is left unturned by the author, and every political absurdity one can think of is dragged out into the light of day. But even more unsettling is the fact that our hero and seemingly only hope in the face of this rampant corruption, Bob, is powerless before these atrocities. It seems he can do nothing but impotently observe the dark machinations of America Inc. and lament the fact that his beloved country has gone to the dogs. At one point Bash and Bob have the following exchange. Bash: When you own real power, people want you only for what they can take from you. It’s usually money, power, sex, prestige or position. But you seem different. What do you want, Bob? Bob: I just want our great nation to heal. To be free. And unified again. Unfortunately, Bob’s idealism accomplishes nothing, or so it seems at this point in the play, except perhaps aids his own demise. In the end, it appears that the artist has no natural defenses against the real world in which he must live, prompting Bob to utter one of the play’s most memorable lines: “If a genius lives in American culture…in a lunatic asylum of epic greed…who’d ever know it.” It is realization and a point of resignation that every artist comes to at some point in his or her life. Just when it seems Bob/the artist/we, the audience, can sink no lower, the play’s author cracks a door and a glimmer of hope appears, and only then does it become apparent that Mr. Lentz has deliberately led us to this low point in order to tell us something important. For, as the author goes on to suggest, only through his art can the artist transcend his surroundings, and only in doing so can he become free. This is a realization that Stephen Dedalus comes to at the end of Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. And Bob also realizes it in the final moments of the play. Bob: In the midst of bedlam. Above the brimming ambitions of cruel megalomania. Amid such tumult in the dark. You arose from the dust of the chaos like an angel phoenix—an epiphany from the ruins. And in your ascent I became transcendent, too. The “you” here refers to Paige, Bob’s love interest in the play, specifically, but more broadly, “you” refers to Bob’s own art. This sentiment is more than cold comfort. The author would have us believe that this is an epiphany and a truth that every artist must eventually come to in order to keep from perishing. And in this realization, Bob saves himself. The implication is that anyone else who will listen and follow Bob’s lead will also free him or herself from the shackles of a broken, deeply flawed society, whether it be America Inc. or not. This, it seems to me, is the point of Mr. Lentz’s inspired and poignant stage play. Through all the belly-laughs, chuckles, and fart-snorts, wonderful as they might be, the author seems to be saying in a calm, assured voice, “Artist, heal thyself.” And he does.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Shaun

    With luck, good writers might transcend time and encourage spirited debate on public issues. Great writers reshape both. What immediately comes to mind by way of an example supporting that statement is Voltaire and his exceptional work "Candide." David Lentz will go down in history as a great writer whose work will transcend time and assuredly reshape public discourse. From the first to last line this brutally funny stage play -- "AmericA, Inc." -- is a classic example of exceptional writing wit With luck, good writers might transcend time and encourage spirited debate on public issues. Great writers reshape both. What immediately comes to mind by way of an example supporting that statement is Voltaire and his exceptional work "Candide." David Lentz will go down in history as a great writer whose work will transcend time and assuredly reshape public discourse. From the first to last line this brutally funny stage play -- "AmericA, Inc." -- is a classic example of exceptional writing with a biting sense of wit and a clear and cogent understanding of political satire that will make the reader and audience think and, hopefully, do more like take action. David Lentz is an exceptionally talented wordsmith and quite possibly among the hardest working authors in America today. Through his august body of work he constantly strives to reshape dialogue on what constitutes great literature while hammering his own work like the artist he is forever pounding at the forge of public opinion and to paraphrase the thinly veiled President George W. Bush (fondly known as "No. 42") the "shock and awe" that is the fierce heat of his incredibly rich mind. As an aside, I understand he has recently written a new book entitled "Sonnets on the Common Man" which revitalizes iambic heptameter found in poetry from the Middle Ages like Lord Byron's "Youth & Age" and in contemporary classics like Robert Service's "The Cremation of Sam McGee" and Edgar Allan Poe's "Annabel Lee." I can't wait for this book to go to print so I can get my hands on a copy because I like great poetry as much as I do entertaining drama. Frankly, what passes for great stage craft by the alleged literati continues to elude me. Take for example the plays "Five Presidents" by Rick Cleveland which recently ran here in Arizona by our local Arizona Theater Company. Wonderful play, entertaining and what not but by the end of the play I thought, "What's the point?" I will never become a member of the most elite club in America. So what's the point? The same might be said more urgently of the popular Pulitzer Prize winning play "Disgraced" by Ayad Akhtar, or as I like to think it should be called, "Guess Who Shouldn't Be Coming To Dinner?" What's the point? I don't think the latter does a good job instructing the reader and audience on the Muslim experience or what it is like to be a Muslim married to a non-Muslim in America today. Its popularity may come from the fact that it was written by a Muslim and that's about it. Nevertheless, the novelty of both will assuredly wear off over time. Not so with "AmericA, Inc." The premise of "AmericA, Inc." centers around Bob, a destitute Yale literature professor and poet, who in the year 2020 (our first hint at political "pun"-ditry) is charged by President for Life and quasi-dictator Travis Bash with "selling" the brutal corporate nation or "corpornation" to the "shareholders" -- that would be us, "We the People." In this dark comedy the USA has incorporated into a global corporate nation and is sub-divided by a great, brick wall into the northern Bluefish and southern Redfish States. AmericA, Inc, is perpetually at war, its Supreme Court has been disbanded, and the corpornation's capital is riddled by lobbyists and voracious for, you guessed it, capital -- also known as money, gelt, moo-lah -- and more of it. El Presidente Bash drafts Bob to transform America, Inc.'s corporate culture. Bob's job is to market to us as its "shareholders" the vulgar, bewildering and corrupt culture of this brutal corporate nation all in an effort to increase "share value." Nothing is a sacred cow in corporate America or American culture in this hilarious cautionary tale about a global corporate nation gone berserk in its relentless pursuit of low cost and profitability on the backs and common sense of its shareholders. Blending high and low comedy, "AmericA, Inc." rings true in a witty, merciless lampoon of "the omniscient intrusion of the savage greed of big business into culture, politics, law, religion and everyday life." Here, David Lentz innovates with an accessible narrative style known as stream of voice to bring characters to life by their dialogue for a truly immersive, reading experience. Somewhere it is written that in "AmericA, Inc." Lentz "extends the literary bloodline of the rich satiric voices in the genre of William Gaddis, Kurt Vonnegut, Joseph Heller, George Orwell, Voltaire, Laurence Sterne and Jonathan Swift." But I think he does more than that with this one. While he has learned well from the works of these literary geniuses, I think he also captures so well the existential futility found in dark classics like Kafka's "The Trial" and Camus' "The Stranger." Some day, some where, some brave soul will turn this little masterpiece into a great stage play. Were I to win the lottery, I would in "a Massachusetts' minute." Nevertheless, I hope it happens in my lifetime but if it doesn't that's okay. Knowing "AmericA, Inc." and David Lentz are out there somehow put a smile on my face and a song in my heart. Rock on, David Lentz . . . keep fighting the good fight!

  3. 4 out of 5

    David Lentz

  4. 4 out of 5

    Carl

  5. 5 out of 5

    Joshlynn

  6. 5 out of 5

    J

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jacqueline Valencia

  8. 5 out of 5

    Richard

  9. 4 out of 5

    Terry Bazes

  10. 4 out of 5

    Robert Pannell

  11. 4 out of 5

    Julia

  12. 5 out of 5

    Bow Bubbui

  13. 5 out of 5

    Janice

  14. 5 out of 5

    Andras Limdauer

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tuna Kırlı

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ian Donnelly

  17. 5 out of 5

    Rayviin

  18. 5 out of 5

    Igrowastreesgrow

  19. 5 out of 5

    Consuela

  20. 5 out of 5

    Becky Jo Adams

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ilie

  22. 4 out of 5

    Alba Innovation

  23. 5 out of 5

    Makfidunnabi Methun

  24. 4 out of 5

    Liz Ann

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jinx:The:Poet {the Literary Masochist, Ink Ninja & Word Roamer}

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Harris

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kirsten

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