News: Live Performances of "DEBATE: Baldwin vs Buckley" via YouTube and Cable Oct. 22, 23, and 24 [UPDATE: now avail. through 11/15]


Image courtesy Spin Cycle PR
the american vicarious in collaboration with BRIC will broadcast DEBATE: Baldwin vs Buckley, a live staging of the historic clash between James Baldwin and William F. Buckley Jr., October 22, 23, and 24.

This live staging will be streamed and broadcast via YouTube and cable. UPDATE 10/17/20: If you missed the live streamed performances, one night’s broadcast is now available to watch anytime for free via YouTube through November 15. View it here.  

“Is the American Dream at the expense of the American Negro?” This was the topic on February 18, 1965 when an overflow crowd packed the Cambridge Union in Cambridge, England, to bear witness to a historic televised debate between James Baldwin, the leading literary voice of the civil rights movement, and William F. Buckley Jr., a fierce critic of the movement and America’s most influential conservative intellectual.

The stage was set for an epic confrontation that pitted Baldwin’s call for a moral revolution in race relations against Buckley’s unabashed elitism and implicit commitment to white supremacy. Restaged for broadcast in the run-up to the 2020 Presidential election, the historic clash that is DEBATE: Baldwin vs Buckley reveals the deep roots and lasting legacy of racial conflict that continues to haunt America.

On three consecutive nights, the american vicarious will gather to restage this historic debate in the run-up to the 2020 Presidential election. Broadcast live nightly, on YouTube and cable, this historic clash reveals the deep roots and lasting legacy of racial conflict that continues to haunt America.

DEBATE: Baldwin vs Buckley is adapted and directed by Founding Artistic Director, Christopher McElroen. The objective of the american vicarious in restaging this historic debate is not to inhabit such monumental figures as James Baldwin or William F. Buckley; their shoes are too large to fill. Rather, our objective is to simply place their words, which still resonate 55 years later, within the voice of contemporary artists.

DEBATE: Baldwin vs Buckley will star Teagle F. Bougere (Broadway’s The Tempest with Patrick Stewart, Raisin in the Sun with Phylicia Rashad and Ivo van Hove’s The Crucible), Eric T. Miller (Mope at Ensemble Studio Theatre), Spencer Hamp (Equus at Pittsburgh Public Theater), Charlie O’Rourke (The Hope Hypothesis at The Sheen Center), Kevin Cristaldi (Message to Michael at Rattlestick) and Daniel Marconi (The Mountains Look Different with Mint Theatre Company). The creative team includes Elivia Bovenzi (Costume Designer), Zach Weeks (Lighting Designer), Andy Evan Cohen (Sound Designer), Adam J Thompson (Video and Graphics Designer), and Jaymes Jorsling (Resident Artist).

DEBATE: Baldwin vs Buckley will be live streamed at 7:30pm on Oct 22, 23 & 24 via YouTube and available on BRIC’s cable channels: Spectrum 1993, Optimum 951, Verizon 47. Running time is 70 minutes. Free with RSVP. More information at


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