Capital Fringe Review: ‘Young Republicans’ by Sydney-Chanele Dawkins

Young Republicans is 65 entertaining minutes of fresh, insightful humor, and heart. You certainly don’t have to be young or Republican to enjoy this Capital Fringe show!

Frankly, when I saw that Helen Hayes Award-Winning Actress, Lee Mikeska Gardner (recently seen performing in 1st Stage’s Side Man this past April) was directing Young Republicans – I was sold, and knew I wanted to see the show. Young Republicans boosts a energetic and committed cast of emerging talent that doesn’t disappoint, delving into the verboten political topics of the day – race, religion and sex. Gardner’s tight execution, and masterful staging of the limited space and theater aisle at Goethe Institut – Main Stage made for an intimate, well-paced production.

The Hill County College Young Republicans are in the midst of a national scandal when the club’s President (Stephanie), played by Alison Talvachio with likeable, naive, zeal, tweets a “joke” that she claims came to her in a dream from President Obama. Suzanne Watts (Anne) shines as the sensible, voice of reason, YR Publicity Coordinator who tries to encourage Stephanie to resign; while deftly navigating political spin, and the strengths and weaknesses of the other impassioned Young Republican members (Robin Covington, Andrew Ferlo, and Sam Repshas) who are bucking to replace her as President.

Young Republicans engages the audience with humor, smart talk, and active audience interaction. The opening night audience, including myself, responded favorably with big laughs throughout this world premiere production by Alexandra Petri, and readily participated as actual debate questioners (questions were supplied beforehand by the cast).

The political fallout, and test of loyalty, friendships, and personal revelations come to a head in this revealing comedy that doesn’t shy away from the tough issues or controversial sentiments facing Americans today.


Four shows remain for you to buy tickets before they sell out! Purchase tickets here.


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Sydney-Chanele Dawkins
Sydney-Chanele Dawkins is an award-winning feature filmmaker, film curator, film festival producer and a theater/film critic and arts writer. She also serves as an impassioned advocate for the Arts as Chair of the Alexandria Commission for the Arts in Alexandria, VA. Fearless. Tenacious. Passionate. Loyal. These characteristics best describe Sydney-Chanele's approach to life, her enthusiasm for live theater and the arts, and her cinephile obsession with world cinema. Her successful first film, 'Modern Love is Automatic' premiered at SXSW in Austin, Texas, and made its European debut at the Edinburgh Film Festival. She recently completed her third film, the animated - 'The Wonderful Woes of Marsh' - which is rounding the film festival circuit. In 2013, Sydney-Chanele produced the box office hit,Neil Simon's Rumors for the McLean Community Players at Alden Theater, Her next producing effort in 2014 is Pearl Cleage's 'Blues for an Alabama Sky' for Port City Playhouse. Programmer for Cinema Art Bethesda and Co Chair of the Film Program for Artomatic, Sydney-Chanele is the past Festival Director of the Alexandria Film Festival, the Reel Independent Film Festival,and Female Shorts & Video Showcase. She is active in leadership and programming positions with DC Metro area Film Festivals including: Filmfest DC, DC Shorts, the Washington Jewish Film Festival, Arabian Sights Film festival, and AFI Docs. Please feel free to contact me with your comments and questions - [email protected] [Note: Sydney-Chanele Dawkins passed away on July 8, 2015, at age 47, after a battle with Breast Cancer.]


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