There is a lot to love–and a lot to laugh at–in POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive, the new play by Selina Fillinger. The play explores one very hectic day at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue as a group of women (including the first lady, the chief of staff, the press secretary, the President’s drug-dealing sister, a reporter chasing a story, a secretary, and a surprise guest) attempt to handle a PR crisis. Things get out of hand quickly, spiral out of control, and hijinks ensue. Here are six reasons to go see POTUS.
1. There are only women in the cast.
POTUS is all about the girls, and the cast of seven women prove how great theatre can be without any men. What’s more, the women involved here are all seasoned performers: Julie White (Gary), Vanessa Williams (Into the Woods), Lilli Cooper (SpongeBob Squarepants), Lea DeLaria (Orange is the New Black), Rachel Dratch (SNL), Julianne Hough (Dancing with the Stars), and Suzy Nakamura (The West Wing) combine to create an ensemble that is perfectly in tune.
2. Three cast members are making long-anticipated Broadway debuts.
After years of stealing the show with gut-busting humor on SNL, Rachel Dratch finally takes the Broadway stage and she does not disappoint—she received a 2022 Tony Award nomination for her performance. Likewise, after a successful dance career and an acting gigs including playing Sandy in Fox’s Grease Live!, Julianne Hough shows off her chops on the big stage, and Second City alum Suzy Nakamura makes her Broadway debut following screen performances in Dr. Ken, Dead to Me, and Horrible Bosses 2.
3. POTUS was written and directed by women.
The play was written by 28 year-old Selina Fillinger (now one of the youngest female playwrights in Broadway history) and directed by five-time Tony award winner Susan Stroman (The Producers, The Scottsboro Boys). It’s rare to get to see a play both written and directed by women—so this is something both worth celebrating and worth supporting.
4. Fillinger's play makes farce feminist.
As a genre, farce has often been a man’s world, but Fillinger and Stroman have reclaimed and transformed it into a space where women can make the jokes too. The play features an abundance of gender-based humor and nothing is off the table, from menstruation to breastfeeding to oral sex. Women are never the joke here—They're the ones making the joke, taking control of the comedy.
5. This show lets us find some humor in politics.
For anyone who is a fan of Veep, this play is for you. It takes that series' biting satire and adds in slapstick humor, physical gags, and some shocking laughs. Just when you think it can’t get any more ridiculous or chaotic, a new twist emerges. Politics may seem all press conferences and meetings, but shows like POTUS let us see the circus going on behind the scenes.
6. It explores important political themes about gender.
POTUS has become more topical than ever. The women in the play discuss, debate, and advocate for women’s rights, gender equality, maternity leave, equal pay, and reproductive justice. The play even asks us to think what we could achieve with a female President.