"the american vicarious has quickly earned a place on my list of must-see theatre companies!” "A wildly off-beat, thought-provoking riff on the way we’re influenced to see history!”– Broadway World
“Mary Todd Lincoln: misunderstood First Lady, bereft mother, obsessive widow—and now, the unlikely subject of a trippy piece of experimental theatre!” "A feast for the eyes!" – Stage Buddy
Shooting Celebrities, written by John Ransom Phillips and directed by Christopher McElroen, is a highly visual and physical exploration of America's identity crisis: the authority possessed by a few to label the individual, versus the power of the individual to define themself. The piece uses the long lens of history, pitting Mary Lincoln, wife of President Abraham Lincoln, against photographer Mathew Brady, America's first celebrity photographer, in an almost irreverent fashion.
Mathew Brady’s camera, it was claimed, made all who sat before it famous. In Shooting Celebrities, a limited audience seated in the round in Brady’s celebrity-makers studio meet a cast of iconic Americans. Memorialized under the focus of Brady’s lens, they guide the audience through multiple perspectives of the American self. But it is the principal visitor, Mary Lincoln, who combats expectation and grief while seeking to achieve, at long last, an honest portrait of her true self, and thus rewriting American history, which has branded her the overdressed crazy widow of America’s Greatest President.
Shooting Celebrities is the first collaboration between multidisciplinary artist John Ransom Phillips and director Christopher McElroen.