Dear Hope Synopsis
On her way to the Women’s March in Washington, DC, Hope meets Jim, a conservative attending the Presidential Inauguration. Alternating between live interactions and email exchanges, Dear Hope is the story of two good people from opposite sides of the political spectrum who will stop at nothing to find common ground. It is a play about the challenges and rewards of coming together during divided times. 
Playwright Joy Peskin
Playwright Joy Peskin is an editor and personal essayist. She developed Dear Hope, her first play, over a series of Hangar Theatre AIRS (Artist in Residency) fellowships, during which she worked on and workshopped the play in Ithaca. Dear Hope is inspired by a year-long correspondence between Joy and a Trump supporter she met on her way to the Women’s March in Washington D.C. in January 2017. A graduate of Vassar College, Joy is currently the editorial director of Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers and a member of the board of the nonprofit organization Every Child a Reader. She has volunteered as a writing teacher for homeless youth and incarcerated women. Joy’s essays have appeared in Parents, Publishers Weekly, Lilith, and Glamour.
The 2017 Inauguration and the Women's March in Photos
On January 20th and 21st, 2017, people from all over the world gathered on the mall in Washington DC for both Donald Trump's presidential inauguration and the Women's March that followed in protest.
Attendees at the Inauguration
Signs from the Women's March
Inaugural crowds wearing "Make America Great Again" hats
March crowds wearing "pussyhats" intended to create a strong and unified visual statement and to push back against comments made by the incoming administration
The 2017 Inauguration and The Woman's March in Numbers
Politicized Relationships
Seeking relationships is a political act:
  • Online dating platform OkCupid saw a 187% increase in political mentions on profiles between 2017 and 2018. The company says the trend continued in 2019 and has likely continued further into 2020.
  • A 2017 study by eHarmony found that almost half of users mention Trump, either positively or negatively, in their profiles.
  • A similar study found that 63% of Americans say they would not consider entering a relationship with someone whose views on Trump differ from their own. 37% say they would consider it.
  • A recent Pew study found that roughly forty percent of registered voters said that they do not have a single close friend backing a different presidential candidate.
Politics along gender lines:
  • OkCupid found that its female-identifying users were twice as likely as men to filter out matches who don't vote. The same study mentioned above found that seventy two percent of female respondents in the U.S. said they could not date someone who had strong political opinions that were "the exact opposite" of their own; 55% of men surveyed answered the same way.
  • NOTE: the surveys referenced did not include data on people identifying out of the gender binary. We do not intend to erase people of these identities, and encourage further and more inclusive data collection.
Gen Z Perspective
  • In discussing burgeoning relationships in Generation Z participants (defined as individuals born between 1997 and 2012), OkCupid chief marketing officer participants, OkCupid chief marketing officer Melissa Hobley described voting and political activism as, "... the new six pack. It is way less about what you look like, and much more what you believe in and what you care about." Political activism as an attractive quality in any relationship is an important aspect to many in the Gen-Z cohort; while Hope and Jim may not fall into this age bracket, Hope views the construction of her relationships in a similar way.
  • The tweet below by writer Emily L. Hauser is typical of many Gen Z perspectives on politics and friendships.
Pre-Show Chat, 7:15 PM EST
A pre-show chat will begin at 7:15 PM EST with a discussion of voter access and civic engagement. Leading the conversation will be Tompkins County League of Women Voters Co-President Sally Grubb and Cornell Votes President Patrick Mehler. A talk-back with cast and crew will follow the production.
Your Viewing Link for Sunday, November 1st:
This link will also be sent to you directly from two hours before the show.
Watch live Sunday, or the archived stream through Tuesday, 11/3.
Lastly, a Reminder to...
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