solo performance · n/a · Ages 18+ · one person show · United States of America

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June 13, 2016
IMPORTANT NOTE: We cannot certify this reviewer attended a performances of this show because no ticket was purchased through this website or the producer has not verified they attended.

What I liked

What I didn't like

My overall impression

Patriot Act is American history on speed. Mike Schlitt is a passionate, engaging and personal performer, who cleverly shares selected key historical moments in the evolution of our nation. But the stakes are raised as he only has 47 minutes for the download, set to a tick-tocking digital display.

Mike’s ease interacting with the audience means our ease. There’s no pretense and no pressure. Just a natural interplay that weaves together clearly thought-out points, elements of his personal life, and a couple of hand puppets to voice the divergent views alive back in the day (make that the late 1700’s day).

This “show” is theatre meets interactive forum. As Mike said, it’s an experiment. And I think he meant not just his show, but in a larger context perhaps, American democracy. To keep up with Mike, you have to be present, you have to pay attention. Patriot Act is an improvisation of sorts meant to engage, to break the barrier of the fourth wall between us and our right and privilege to live in a democracy, whatever its flaws.

Mike takes us on this journey because he wants us to understand, it seems, that our very foundation, as stated in the Declaration of Independence, gave us previously unheard of freedoms, including the right “to pursue happiness.” He promises to restore or bolster our faith in democracy. But this is no pulpit or political speech. As he guides us down the timeline that’s shaped our history, he begins to doubt, to be somewhat flustered in his self-described tilt to the “glass half empty” view. He realizes he’s taking us down a path that’s apparently strayed from fulfilling the promise set down at our country’s birth. And, he wants to know, from you and me, how we might help fill that glass to be just a quarter empty.

Our democratic rights are a living thing. If being a patriot means actively advocating for the “self-evident” truths and “unalienable rights” of our nation’s foundation, then Mike is hoping you too will be a patriot.

Go see Patriot Act. Go willing to be in the moment. It’s worth the time and the dime.

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