The fear and reticence engendered by Donald Trump is affecting the production of TRUMPED. I'm idealistic enough to believe in the Amendment l of the Constitution which guarantees freedom of speech. One writer insists on a pseudonym to avoid reprisals at work. And one actor will not perform with us for fear of losing her job. I don't hold anything against either artist. Believe me, I get it. So, what about me? Am I crazy to produce, direct, and co-author a play called TRUMPED? I don't think so. I've taken so many hits in my long life from the little fascists that populate our lives that I reached a point when I said, fuck this, and insist on democracy and on the better angels of America. After all, America is an experiment and always has been. Sure it's an easy nation to criticize. Hell, I do it all the time. But only the way one criticizes a father who doesn't do the right thing. Still, he's your father. Or your mother, either way. So, yes, I love America. In spite of the genocide and enslavement surrounding its founding, and despite all the sins it continues to commit. We all know them, so need to repeat them. Still, I believe in the Constitution. I also believe in what James Baldwin once said when he spoke about this country being the only one on earth where all the races and ethnicities try to live together under one roof. No other nation has this challenge. The world looks to us to see if we can pull this off without killing one another in the process. So, we here at The American Poetry Theater are doing our part. We are, after all, The AMERICAN Poetry Theater. And TRUMPED is our next exploration into what that means.