Healthy News | Playwright opens up about off-Broadway show inspired by Pelosi, Ocasio-Cortez |

A new play inspired by Reps. Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.) — and penned by a former House staffer — aims to show a fictionalized version of how the two Democrats “challenge each other and work through their differences.”

“I wasn’t trying to do a biographical play of either of these women, who are fascinating and complicated in their own right. Instead, I wanted to write about the ideas that they sometimes push forward together,” said Mario Correa, the playwright behind the off-Broadway show “N/A.”

The play, which runs through Aug. 4 at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater in New York City, stars Emmy Award-winning actor Holland Taylor as the Pelosi-inspired character, “N,” while “On Your Feet!” actor Ana Villafañe steps into the Ocasio-Cortez-esque role of “A.”

“I thought about a play where you could actually stage two people sort of circling one another, never quite touching, never quite connected,” Correa said. 

While no names are used in the play, Correa said it’s “firmly rooted in real events that occurred between mid-2018 and late 2022.”

“It follows the arc of this relationship that we’ve come to know, but it really hones in specifically on the big issues that challenged and divided [Pelosi and Ocasio-Cortez], and that includes, most specifically, the funding of the ICE detention centers on the border in 2019 under the Trump administration.”

“For that reason, it is political, but it’s also a philosophical play. [The characters] talk a lot about sort of what the responsibility of each person is to create change and progress and how to do that,” Correa said. 

But it’s not a dry, wonk-filled showdown, said “N/A” director Diane Paulus, who praised Correa’s use of humor throughout the show to keep audiences engaged and laughing and called it a “play of ideas.”

“I really think there is no other contemporary American play that features two top political figures in American politics,” said Paulus, the Tony Award winner and artistic director of Harvard University’s American Repertory Theater.

Correa said he intentionally didn’t include names of real-life politicians in the project, which he wrote in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“[Former President] Trump is never mentioned. President Biden is never mentioned by name. All these people are referenced and they’re clearly in the ether, but the idea was to abstract it a little bit to open our minds a little bit, and to hear what they were saying,” according to Correa. 

Paulus said, “Even though he’s called them N and A, you watch the play and you really listen to each point of view.”

“You go through this seesaw as an audience of [responding], ‘Well, I hear that, that feels right. I understand that.’ And then you hear the other point of view [and say], ‘I hear that too. That makes sense as well. Mario does a superb job of not casting one point of view is the right point of view or the winning point of view,” the show’s director said.

Correa, who was born in Chile and grew up in Bethesda, Md., worked as a longtime aide to former Rep. Connie Morella (R-Md.). While he met former Speaker Pelosi years ago, he’s never talked to Ocasio-Cortez.

The scribe, who also penned a feature film currently being produced by George Clooney’s production company about former Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis’s (D) 2013 filibuster against anti-abortion legislation, described “N/A” as “definitely political.”

Asked if it’s tough for a writer to compete with the real-life fireworks going on in Washington these days, Correa said, “I don’t think there’s anything more dramatic occurring in our entire country than what we’re seeing play out on Capitol Hill. There’s no need to compete with it — you just have to sort of illuminate it.”

Paulus said despite the focus on two of the country’s most famous Democrats, “N/A” can have across-the-aisle appeal — even for those who might be OD’d on politics.

“It’s really an opportunity to kind of zoom out to this really important acknowledgement that in many ways we’re divided, but in many ways we want the same for our country,” Paulus said.

“It’s actually surprising and encouraging about the play in a way that I find following politics and the media can be deadening and depressing,” she said. “This play is kind of cathartic and energizing, because it actually is creating space for audiences to think about our future.”

 A new play inspired by Reps. Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.) — and penned by a former House staffer — aims to show a fictionalized version of how the two Democrats “challenge each other and work through their differences.” “I wasn’t trying to do a biographical play of either of these women, who… House, In The Know Your Ultimate Destination for Beauty Products, Viral News, and Trendy Videos

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