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Our Mission

The National Pastime Theater strives to fill thousands of empty theater seats with generaions of new theater audience, to stop this audience dead in their comfortable tracks and spur them to take an active role in their neighborhoods, communities and world.

Live theater must grab all generations and drag them–perhaps kicking and screaming–into an active role in our world.

Chicago is a perfect location for the type of theater that The National Pastime Theater Ensemble creates. We push ourselves and our audience to the limit. We aspire to bring people into the work, not just into the theater: we create terror, awe and strike down apathy. We sell not just tickets, we enable dreams.

For twenty years, The National Pastime Theater has insured progress by producing dynamic and masterful live theater. In addition to producing live theater, NPT has fostered over one hundred and fifty emerging and staple Chicago theater companies. In an effort to expand our mission, NPT supports those itinerant theaters that present a similar focus to that of NPT's.


The National Pastime Theater

presents Alan Marshall's

The Interview: JFK

Friday, November 22nd, 2013 - 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, November 23rd, 2013 - 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, November 24th, 2013 - 3:00 p.m.

Tickets: $25
Opening Night Performance & Soiree Tickets: $50

buy tickets


“The Interview: JFK”
November 22nd, 2013 – November 24th, 2013

On November 22, 2013, the 50th anniversary of the death of President John F. Kennedy, the National Pastime Theater will present The Interview: JFK. In this new work, Chicago playwright Alan Marshall seeks to provide America’s 35th president a forum to speak with candor about his life and presidency.

“JFK’s untimely death prevented him from being able to write his memoir,” said Marshall. “Consequently, many others have written about him, but we do not hear his voice.”

Marshall’s play seeks to separate JFK, the man and president, from the prevailing myths surrounding his life and presidency. Act I focuses on his upbringing, personal life and early political career. Act II explores various episodes of his thousand day presidency including: the Bay of Pigs, civil rights, the Cuban Missile Crisis and others.

“What the general public is most familiar with regarding President Kennedy are his assassination and the salacious details that have been attached to his legacy,” Marshall offered. “What is missing from the national conversation is the degree to which he evolved as President and his bold and far reaching initiatives on civil rights and world peace.”

Marshall has created a fictional setting for a top secret town hall forum in August, 1963 where President Kennedy and his brother, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, are questioned by two moderators and a nationally selected audience.

The Premise
In 1963, a powerful think tank, in cahoots with the United States Information Agency, was curious about how much candor could the American people handle about their leaders and the actual state of the nation’s affairs? So, a foundation funded a series of top secret events where these public figures participated in town hall meetings and spoke off the record. No reporters, no recording, and everyone in attendance had to sign a confidentiality agreement which would be enforced, if necessary, by the FBI.

The Project
THE INTERVIEW is a new theatrical series created by Alan Marshall to explore the characters in the universe of his project called THE MARCH Civil Rights Arts Project. Alan Marshall began writing for the stage in 2010 with THE MARCH: A Civil Rights Opera exploring the events surrounding the 1963 March on Washington. He has also written several mass meeting performances that take audiences back to episodes of the civil rights movement. These include: Remembering Medgar Evers, Shades of Mississippi, The Birmingham Children’s March, and Prelude to a Dream.

The Goodman Theatre in Chicago co-produced Prelude to a Dream on August 18, 2013 during their celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington. Marshall directed the Goodman Theatre co-production and then took Prelude to a Dream to Washington, D.C. where he directed performances on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial (8/26/13) and at Metropolitan A.M.E. Church on the eve of the 50th Anniversary.



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