Who is the Most American?
One aspect of the project is an investigation into how United States’ influence — cultural, economic, political — is felt all throughout the world, but particularly within Europe, to the point of being hegemonic. What I want to look at is the possibility that America is ‘gentrifying’ cultures and their peoples. I use the format of a game show (a quite American invention) to unpack these heavy issues in a fun, but subversive way. To the audience I propose a ‘theory’ that because of America’s spread these is possibility that they could be ‘American’ and not even know it. To find this out I have devised a game to evaluate their level of Americanness.
Two player-participants from the audience join me on stage to play three quiz rounds such as “President or Pro Wrestler” and “Name that State” to earn points towards winning a fabulous prize. The last round, “The American Lightning Round,” the players give their best American answers for value based questions like “Who can be an American?” or “Explain the American Health Care System?” The game show’s fun and inviting proposal gives way and the audience is able to reflect on the major question of “what is America’s place in the world and is that how it should be?”