World Premiere

Originally scheduled August - September 2020, this production was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. New dates are still to be determined.

While we weren’t able to produce Campaigns, Inc. as our 2020-21 season opener, we have created a series of online events and classes around this timely play!

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A hysterical and jaw-dropping inside look at the underbelly of politics through the lens of two of the undeniable founders of “fake news.”

It is 1934, and famous novelist Upton Sinclair is all but guaranteed to become the first Democratic governor of the state of California—until a young, unknown pair of consultants from the shadows of the challenger’s campaign attempt to take him down. As Frank Merriam and Sinclair battle it out in the spotlight—seeking endorsements from the likes of Charlie Chaplin and FDR—Leone Baxter and Clem Whitaker work behind-the-scenes to methodically construct one of the most spectacular, unbelievable, and star-studded smear campaigns ever.

Based on the true story of Baxter and Whitaker, who formed the first political consulting firm in U.S. history, Campaigns, Inc. is a hysterical and jaw-dropping inside look at the underbelly of politics through the lens of two of the undeniable founders of “fake news.”

This world premiere play was developed through TimeLine’s Playwrights Collective, launched in 2013 to support Chicago-based playwrights in residence and create new work centered on TimeLine’s mission of presenting plays inspired by history that connect to today’s social and political issues. Campaigns, Inc. received its first public reading as part of TimeLine’s inaugural First Draft Playwrights Collective Festival in December 2018.

Discussions & Events

  • Beyond the 'Line: CAMPAIGNS, INC.
    Tuesday, October 13 & Tuesday, October 20 from 6pm - 7:30 pm (CDT)

    Explore media manipulation and fake news both past and present in this two-part workshop.

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  • The Journey from THE JUNGLE to "The Swamp"
    Wednesday, October 21 at 7:30pm

    A live virtual event with scenes from CAMPAIGNS, INC. and conversation on the play’s themes.

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  • CAMPAIGNS, INC. Take Home Wine Tasting
    Wednesday, October 28 at 7pm

    Join BottlesUp! and TimeLine for a wine tasting in honor of Campaigns, Inc.

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