Press Screener: Manifest Destiny’s Child

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Thursday, November 12, 2020

MANIFEST DESTINY’S CHILD  (World Premiere)Acronym TV ( presents Manifest Destiny’s Child,  a virtual theater experience streaming on-demand now through November 30th. 
Directed by Tony-winning Producer and Drama Desk-nominated Jeff Wise with Trainor Jr
Written and Performed by Dennis Trainor Jr 

Written and performed by the Communications Director of Jill Stein’s flawed but well-intentioned 2016 Presidential campaign, Manifest Destiny’s Child is a true story about the intersection of movement building and electoral politics. In this new solo show, Dennis Trainor Jr takes a pickaxe to the pillars holding up the toxic myth of American Exceptionalism in a provocative, intelligent, and humorous meditation on how America lost its way and woke up in Trumplandia.

Jeff Wise, who directed a workshop production of Manifest Destiny’s Child at Dixon Place in 2018, takes on Co-Directing responsibilities with Trainor Jr for this streaming video. Wise, a 2019 Drama Desk nominee for Outstanding Direction of a Play, Tony-winning Producer, and Founding Artistic Director of the critically acclaimed Wheelhouse Theater Company, states: “In Manifest Destiny’s Child Dennis talks the talk because he has walked the walk.  This piece is so important to consider because Dennis confidently, humbly, and playfully acknowledges the perils of the two-party system, the cost of activism, and the fallacy of our electoral process.  All anyone should do is hold themselves accountable, and Dennis is a shining example of this as he shares his true story working for the 2016 Jill Stein presidential campaign.”

Downloadable Images for Press use are located at the bottom of this page.

poster art: Kes Maro (

Written and Performed by Dennis Trainor Jr
Directed by Jeff Wise with Dennis Trainor Jr


DENNIS TRAINOR JR (Writer, Performer, Co-Director)

Dennis is a Boston-based actor, writer, director, and multimedia storyteller. His Boston theater credits include appearances with SpeakEasy Stage Company, New Repertory Theatre, Actors’ Shakespeare Project, Gloucester Stage Company, Company One Theatre, and North Shore Music Theater. As an activist/media maker, his films include Legalize Democracy and American Autumn (“Calm, and smart, offsetting its stridency with humor” – New York Times, “Impresses where many docs disappoint” – Variety). Dennis was the host and writer of the nationally syndicated news and politics show Acronym TV (as part of the Young Turks Network). In New York, Dennis was the founding Co-Artistic Director of the Rude Mechanicals Theater Company. His theater writing credits include the plays Plug (Rude Mechanicals), I Coulda Been A Kennedy (Rude Mechanicals), and Manifest Destiny’s Child (Wheelhouse Theater/Dixon Place). Dennis received his MFA in Acting from the American Conservatory Theater and is a proud member of the Actors’ Equity Association.

JEFF WISE (Co-Director)

A 2019 Drama Desk nominee for Outstanding Director of a Play (Life Sucks), Jeff is a Tony Award-winning producer, an actor, director, and founder of Wheelhouse Theater Company. With Wheelhouse, Jeff has directed the critically acclaimed Life Sucks (NY Times Critics Pick) by Aaron Posner, Happy Birthday, Wanda June (NY Times Critics Pick) by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Ibsen’s’ An Enemy of the People, Shakespeares’ Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar and the world premiere of DANNYKRISDONNAVERONICA by Lawrence Dial. Jeff produced the Tony Award-winning revival of Once on this Island on Broadway. He also co-produced the world premiere In the Room with Slant Theatre Project. He has also directed productions of Henry IV Part 2, Hamlet, BACK, and Dear Penthouse. Stage credits include Hamlet, Lend me a Tenor, Pajama Game, Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat, BACK, Three Sisters, Six Degrees of Separation, Bus Stop, and La Ronde. Jeff received his MFA in Acting from New York University.

A production note:
I initially worked on Manifest Destiny’s Child as a memoir, developing the manuscript at the Boston creative writing space, Grub Street, in a workshop lead by Alysia Abbot. The text’s theatrical version received a workshop presentation at Dixon Place, NYC (Feb 2018), directed by Jeff Wise and produced by Wheelhouse Theater. Coming out of that process, I was confident that I had a unique theater piece that would have fit nicely into the 2020 presidential election season. The pandemic made those well-laid plans impossible to realize, and so – with my living room as a set, I’ve created this piece of virtual theater to share with you. The current video-on-demand script benefitted from the wisdom and guidance of Jeff Wise and Alyssa Schmidt.

– DTjr October 12, 2020

The following images/ screenshots are available for Press use,
with credit given to

(left) Dennis Trainor Jr announcing the launch of Jill Stein’s 2016 Presidential Campaign;
(right) reflecting on that moment in Manifest Destiny’s Child. Image: screenshot/ Manifest Destiny’s Child /
Image: screenshot/ Manifest Destiny’s Child /
Oglala Sioux tribal elder Lance King being interviewed by Dennis Trainor Jr at the Oceti Sakowin Camp. December 5, 2016. Image: screenshot/ Manifest Destiny’s Child /
Dennis Trainor Jr interviewing Dr. Cornel West on the steps of the Supreme Court during the Occupy Wall Street movement (October 2011) moments before both were arrested. Image: screenshot/ Manifest Destiny’s Child /
Dennis Trainor Jr in Manifest Destiny’s Child.
Dennis Trainor Jr in Manifest Destiny’s Child.
Tony-winning Producer and Drama Desk-nominated Director
Jeff Wise, Co-Director of Manifest Destiny’s Child.
Dennis Trainor Jr arrested in the Hart Senate Office Building during the Occupy Wall Street movement. October 2011. Image: screenshot/ Manifest Destiny’s Child /

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