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Wednesday, October 21, 2020 @ 7:30 pm - Sunday, November 1, 2020 @ 3:30 pm MST

TRUMBO: RED, WHITE AND BLACKLISTED by Christopher Trumbo, directed by Susan Claassen starring David Alexander Johnston and Damian Garcia performs on October 21 – November 1, 2020 at Invisible Theatre 1400 N. First Ave, Tucson, AZ 85719.

Susan Claassen, Managing Artistic Director of Invisible Theatre, announces that TRUMBO will kick-off Invisible Theatre’s 50th Anniversary Season. Claassen states TRUMBO was selected long before the Pandemic hit, but with the knowledge that this fall’s election year would be contentious. Claassen chose this play because it reflected a horrific time in our country’s history while celebrating some of the most courageous defenders of our democracy. As Dalton Trumbo said, “Democracy isn’t a gift. It’s a responsibility”. Claassen sees this play as a call to action.

When legendary screenwriter Dalton Trumbo stood up in the House of Un-American Activities Committee in 1947, he was thrown in prison and blacklisted as one of the “Hollywood Ten”. Based on his brilliant and razor-sharp letters to friends, former friends, and family, Trumbo reveals how the author of Spartacus, Roman Holiday, and Exodus took on Congress, Hollywood, and the Red Scare – and won. TRUMBO combines wit, bravery and true patriotism. Dalton Trumbo served time in prison for “Contempt of Congress”. He agreed: “As far as I was concerned, it was a completely just verdict. I had contempt for that Congress and have had contempt for several since.”

This production is made possible in part through the generous support of Mary Ann Stubbs

The Invisible Theatre (IT) of Tucson has instituted “Boutique Seating” and anticipate 22 fabulous people nightly. Here is how it works! Decide which performance you would like to attend and how many in your party. Reservations are required – all seats are reserved. There will be no sales at the Box Office. Call (520) 882-9721 or email [email protected] with your first and second choices. We will then call you with your confirmed date. Non-Flex Single Tickets will go on sale October 1st at
a single show ticket price of $40.

All audience members must wear masks for the duration of their time inside the theatre. All social distancing guidelines issued by the CDC and City of Tucson will be followed.

The running time is 75 minutes with no intermission.

TRUMBO: RED, WHITE AND BLACKLISTED is appropriate for mature audiences (13 and up).


The Invisible Theatre (IT) of Tucson, a 501(c)(3) organization, is dedicated to producing quality theatre and arts education experiences for all facets of the community in an intimate setting that showcases local professional talent and guest artists. IT takes its name from the invisible energy that flows between a performer and audience, creating the magic of theatre. Started in 1971 as an arena for local playwrights, the theatre has expanded its programs to include adaptations of classics and recent Off- Broadway plays and musicals, while continuing to encourage new playwrights through both full productions and staged readings.

Under the leadership of Managing Artistic Director Susan Claassen, Associate Artistic Director James Blair, and PR Director Cathy Johnson, IT is strongly committed to community service and outreach programs. The company’s current season includes a six play Main Stage season, many special events, a world class cabaret series, organizational collaborations, educational tours, seminars that encourage community dialogue and Project Pastime – an educational theatre program for mentally challenged youth.

The Invisible Theatre, the recipient of the first Arizona Theatre Association Award for Best Producing Theatre Company, is a member of the Theatre Communications Group and has long enjoyed both local and national recognition for its strong leadership role in the arts community. Productions take place in an intimate 80-seat converted laundry building. IT celebrates its 50th season with an even greater commitment to professionalism, artistic excellence, accessibility, freedom of expression, diverse programming and creative challenge – thus making the Invisible Theatre a very visible force in Tucson’s cultural community.


CHRISTOPHER TRUMBO (Playwright) was a writer and the son of Oscar-winning blacklisted Hollywood screenwriter Dalton Trumbo. Christopher was an expert on the 1940s House Un-American Activities Committee investigation into alleged communist infiltration of Hollywood, a subject he knew about in detail through his father, who refused to cooperate with the committee and was imprisoned as a member of the blacklisted Hollywood 10. Christopher Trumbo wrote the play, TRUMBO: RED, WHITE AND BLACKLISTED about his father, whose film credits included Exodus and The Brave One. A graduate of Columbia University, Christopher Trumbo, wrote the screenplays for such movies as The Don Is Dead and Brannigan. His television credits included such series as Ironside, Quincy, M.E. and Falcon Crest.

DALTON TRUMBO is an award-winning author and screenwriter who, after embarking on a successful career with Warner Bros. in 1947, joined nine colleagues in refusing to testify before Congress regarding their Communist ties. The so-called “Hollywood Ten” were blacklisted from that time until the early 1960s. Trumbo died of a heart attack on September 10, 1976, in Los Angeles, California.
In the early 1930s, Trumbo began to write professionally, publishing articles and stories in magazines such as the Saturday Evening Post, Vanity Fair and the Hollywood Spectator. He became the managing editor of the Spectator in 1934, a year that also saw him publish his first novel, Eclipse, as well as land a job as a script reader in the Warner Bros. story department. Then in 1935, Trumbo signed a contract with the studio as a junior writer, launching what would prove to be a long – and complicated – career. In 1936, and over the course of the next 10 years, he became one of the most successful and sought after writers in Hollywood. During this time, Trumbo was finding success away from the studio as well. In 1939, he married Cleo Fincher, with whom he would have three children, and in September of that year, he achieved his peak as a novelist with the antiwar story Johnny Got His Gun. The novel received a National Book Award and has been adapted numerous times for radio, stage and screen.

Although the success of Johnny Got His Gun earned Trumbo notoriety as an author, the work eventually garnered him a fair share of unwanted attention as well. Like many intellectuals and artists at the time, Trumbo was a member of the Communist Party and during his career had frequently taken unpopular left-leaning political positions. In October 1947, as postwar paranoia about the perceived threat of Communism was ramping up in the United States, Trumbo was among a group of 10 Hollywood directors and writers called to testify before the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC), which was charged with investigating whether Communist sympathizers had propagandized American audiences. Trumbo and the other nine individuals summoned all refused to testify, and as a consequence, the “Hollywood Ten” were found guilty of contempt of Congress. They were subsequently blacklisted by the heads of the major studios, and in 1950, Trumbo served almost a year in prison.

Following his release, Trumbo was unable to find work in California and moved his family to Mexico City. From there, he continued to write screenplays, which he was able to sell by using either pseudonyms or other writers to act as fronts for his work. Finally, in 1957, after nearly a decade of working in exile, Trumbo at last saw an opportunity to return to Hollywood, when his screenplay for The Brave One – written under the pseudonym Robert Rich – received an Academy Award. The year after “Robert Rich” won the Oscar for The Brave One, Trumbo was hired to write the adaptation for the best-selling novel about the creation of Israel, Exodus, and in 1959 he was chosen by Kirk Douglas to author the screenplay for Spartacus. Trumbo’s authorship of these two highly successful pictures was revealed shortly before their release in 1960, along with the announcement that Trumbo would receive credit for his work. Shortly thereafter, he was readmitted to the Writers Guild of America, effectively bringing the blacklist to an end. In 1993, 40 years after the films’ release Dalton Trumbo was posthumously awarded an Oscar for his screenplay for Roman Holiday.

DAVID ALEXANDER JOHNSTON (Dalton) made his IT debut in DON’T TALK TO THE ACTORS and then appeared here in LEAVING IOWA, AN EMPTY PLATE IN THE CAFÉ DU GRAND BOEUF, 2 ACROSS, MOTHERHOOD OUT LOUD, OLIVE AND THE BITTER HERBS, I OUGHT TO BE IN PICTURES, LEBENSRAUM, THE VALUE OF NAMES, COMING APART and MR. GOLDBERG’S PRODIGAL SON. David appeared as nine different characters in the one man show THE ABSOLUTE BRIGHTNESS OF LEONARD PELKEY. He again was alone on stage for the unique WHITE RABBIT RED RABBIT. He has been seen in ATC’s TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING and MY FAIR LADY. David appeared in AUGUST OSAGE COUNTY, CABARET ROUGH MAGIC, UNITED, SAINT JOAN and SOVEREIGN BODY with Winding Road Theater Ensemble. He proudly played Willy Loman in Winding Road’s DEATH OF A SALESMAN and most recently appeared in their productions of THE LITTLE FOXES and ANGELS FALL . He won a Tucson MAC award for playing Mr. Green in VISITING MR. GREEN at Live Theatre Workshop. David has been seen in multiple other shows since coming to Tucson in 1990. His television and movie credits include Day of Redemption, Spin, The Unflyable Plane for BBC, Fast Getaway II, and Tank Girl as well as regional and national commercials and industrial films.

DAMIAN GARCIA (Christopher) is thrilled to be involved with Invisible Theatre yet again, having last been seen in LAST TRAIN TO NIBROC as Raleigh and DANCING LESSONS as Ever Montgomery (MAC Award Winner Best Actor, Comedy). Damian is a born and raised Tucsonan. He received an Associate’s in Fine Arts degree from Pima Community College in 2010 and since graduating has studied acting in various forms for around ten years (whether for school or in his down time). While enrolled at Pima, Damian was involved in a total of 13 productions during his four years in the drama program including THE MANDRAKE (Ligurio), SPAMALOT (Ensemble), FIDDLER ON THE ROOF (Motel), THE LARAMIE PROJECT (Jedidiah Schultz/Ensemble), TRUMPET OF THE SWAN (Cob), THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK (Peter Van Daan), THE JUNGLE BOOK (Haati), INHERIT THE WIND (Tom Davenport) and CURTAINS! (Randy Dexter). In recent years, Damian has been making his rounds in the Tucson theatre scene; production credits include Winding Road Theatre’s THE BIG MEAL (Man #3), THE LITTLE FOXES (Leo Hubbard) and THE FANTASTICS (Matt/The Boy), Something Something Theatre’s SWITZERLAND (Edward) and CONSTELLATIONS (Roland), Roadrunner Theatre’s PERFECT TIMING (Gerard Castle) and BE MY BABY (Male Ensemble), as well as The Community Players’ ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST (Billy Bibbit), along with several independent staged readings. He plans to someday soon transfer to a larger city and pursue even grander opportunities in hopes of one day creating a full-time career as an actor for himself.

SUSAN CLAASSEN (Director) continues her 46th anniversary with Tucson’s Invisible Invisible Theatre. As Managing Artistic Director, she has produced well over 450 productions and directed over 100 including the MAC (Best Comedy Director) award winning DANCING LESSONS. Susan has been a member of Actors’ Equity Association (the professional actors’ union) for over 50 years! Some of her most memorable IT roles have been Olive in OLIVE AND THE BITTER AWARDS (MAC Award Best Comedy Actor), Bella in LOST IN YONKERS, Shirley in SHIRLEY VALENTINE, Trudy and all in THE SEARCH FOR SIGNS OF INTELLIGENT LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE and most recently, Dr. Ruth in the award winning BECOMING DR. RUTH. Susan’s production of A CONVERSATION WITH EDITH HEAD ( has had over 500 performances and has been touring nationally and internationally since 2002. She was featured in the 2006 Republic of Georgia International Theatre Festival, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe August 2007, and played London’s West End in July/August 2008. Susan received a prestigious LA Stage Alliance Ovation Best Actress Nomination in 2011 for her portrayal of Edith Head, 2011 BroadwayWorld LA nomination as Best Actress, was the Phoenix New Times Best Actress 2012 and was most recently nominated as Best Solo Performance by The San Francisco Bay Area Critics Association and Theatre Bay Area! Susan was a City of Hope Spirit of Life honoree, received Tucson’s Humanitarian Torch Award for her work on behalf of people living with AIDS, has been a clown in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade since 2001, was selected as one of Tucson Lifestyle’s 10 Most Admired Women, was honored by the Jewish Federation as one of Tucson’s 13 Extraordinary Women, and is featured in Arizona’s centennial legacy book, Arizona’s 48 Most Intriguing Women.


Written by: Christopher Trumbo
Director: Susan Claassen

David Alexander Johnston (Dalton) and Damian Garcia (Christopher)

The Invisible Theatre
1400 N. First Avenue (at Drachman), Tucson, AZ. 85719

75 minutes with no intermission.

Mature ages 13 and up.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. (Opening)
Thursday, October 22, 2020 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, October 23, 2020 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, October 24, 2020 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, October 25, 2020 at 3:00 p.m.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020 at 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, October 29, 2020 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, October 30, 2020 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, October 31, 2020 at 3:00 p.m.
Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 3:00 p.m.

DIRECTOR: Susan Claassen
SET DESIGN: James Blair and Susan Claassen
SOUND DESIGN: Rob Boone and Susan Claassen
PROP DESIGN: Heidi Peden
PROJECTION DESIGN: Cynthia Barlow and Susan Claassen
COSTUME DESIGN: Maryann Trombino

All seats are reserved and reservations are required. Call the Box Office at (520) 882-9721 or enail [email protected] with first and second choices. You will then receive a phone call to confirm.
Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express are accepted.


Wednesday, October 21, 2020 @ 7:30 pm MST
Sunday, November 1, 2020 @ 3:30 pm MST
Event Categories:
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Invisible Theatre
1400 N. First Avenue


Invisible Theatre (IT)
1400 N. First Avenue
Tucson, AZ 85719 United States
+ Google Map
(520) 882-9721

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