NAFTA: Miami

Montez Press Radio, 2019

Written by:
Victoria Campbell & Micaela Carolan

(as Campbell Carolan)

Samuel Ashford
Dean Kissick
Ala Dehghan
James Shaeffer
Pujan Karambeigi
Micaela Carolan

NAFTA Miami is set in the art world — at an imaginary art fair called NAFTA Miami— starring our own community of arts professionals in the roles of Mamet’s blazing salesmen. Only, we’ve replaced all of the original lines with the language of a press release-- and the blue-collar vernacular of a backroom car dealership with the canting language of critical discourse.

It could be said that there are no characters in Glengarry Glen Ross: there are only actors, so positioned and possessed by the roles they perform in speech that, by the end of the play, they ultimately come to resemble their consequences more than they do themselves. Campbell Carolan’s adoption of David Mamet’s 1984 Pulitzer drama stays faithful to the original form, if it is possible to recontextualize fidelity as a postmodern gesture. NAFTA Miami is a sincere hit of postmodern theatre— a work of theatre before it’s a work of art— with a lot of stuff going on behind it. Reaganism, masculinity, the art world, institutions— all feature here as one or many horizons of sense, rather than “commentary” or “critique.” 

Trailer for NAFTA: Miami

Words were replaced with other words in a sort of mad-libs process, which was later supplanted by a computer algorithm. Words, they say, work. They work on other words. One listener might witness a promiscuous abandonment of plot, another might call into question the very nature of the subject, someone is bound to screw up the lines. At stake in this work was participation, reflexivity, belief, a little bit of treason, but never betrayal.

This play was written for the art world and those we believe play meaningful roles both within and against the industry that structures it. On May 24th 5-7pm, Acts 1 and 2 were performed live on Montez Press Radio, followed by an informal round of questions focused on the trappings of critical thought, the emerging gallery sector, and the possibilities of reflexive thought in 2019.