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Farce In The White House & The First Family

By Olivia O’Connor, Dramaturg for POTUS

Farce In The White House

A Brief Selection of As-Strange-As-Fiction Tales From America’s Top Office

In an oral history on her time serving as a White House staffer in John F. Kennedy’s administration, Barbara Gamarekian recalled a visit from a Paris Match reporter who was also a friend of Jaqueline Kennedy. Mrs. Kennedy took the reporter on a tour through the White House, and as they passed Priscilla Wear [one of President Kennedy’s many alleged dalliances], Mrs. Kennedy turned to the reporter and said, in French, “This is the girl who supposedly is sleeping with my husband.”

President Woodrow Wilson’s first posed picture after his illness, June 1920. His wife, Edith Wilson, holds a document while the President adds his signature. Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

“The first female president”: In 1919, Woodrow Wilson suffered a stroke while serving his second term as President and was severely incapacitated. His wife, Edith Wilson, took the reins of his office for the remaining 17 months of his presidency, deciding which information and visitors reached him and communicating decisions on his behalf. Journalists and historians occasionally refer to Wilson as the “first female president.”

Burn After Reading: Former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson testified to the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol that she had witnessed Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows burn documents in his West Wing office fireplace “maybe just over a dozen” times in the last weeks of the Trump administration, from December 2020–January 2021. She did not know what the documents contained.

On High Alert: In July 2023, a dime bag of cocaine was found in a vestibule near the West Executive Avenue entrance to the White House. Surveillance footage and fingerprint and DNA tests did not identify the bag’s owner; the Secret Service ultimately closed the investigation due to a lack of physical evidence.'

The First Family

Among the Many Colorful Siblings of Past Presidents...

Roger Clinton, younger half-brother of Bill Clinton, was a singer, actor, and general troublemaker; the Secret Service nickname for him was “headache.” He spent roughly a year in prison after a 1985 drug conviction (for possession of and conspiracy to distribute cocaine) and was pardoned by President Clinton in 2001, on Clinton’s last day in office. Shortly after his pardon, he was arrested for a DUI; he was arrested for a second DUI in 2016, two days before the California Democratic Primary in which Hilary Clinton was a candidate.

Neil Bush, younger brother of George Bush and son of George H.W. Bush, was sued for “gross negligence” for his leadership of collapsed bank Silverado Savings and Loan during his father’s presidency. He came back under public scrutiny during his brother’s presidency, when his 2003 divorce deposition revealed questionable business deals and possible encounters with sex workers while traveling abroad. Bush insisted that he never paid anyone for sex; women just knocked on his hotel door and had sex with him: “Mr. Bush, you have to admit it’s a pretty remarkable thing for a man just to go to a hotel room door and open it and have a woman standing there and have sex with her,” Lawyer Marshall Davis Brown said. “It was very unusual,” Bush agreed.

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Billy Carter, younger brother of Jimmy Carter, launched a short-lived beer brand (“Billy Beer”) and was the subject of a 1980 Senate investigation on his dealings with Libya. A 1979 article in the Nashua Telegraph reported that Carter received a “$25,000 silver-studded saddle, complete with a horse that he had to leave behind in the desert” while visiting the country. Though it was later revealed that Carter had accepted $220k from the Libyan government, at the time of the article, he insisted, “I ain’t a foreign agent in spite of this crap. We ain’t took a damned dime, babe.



JAN 17 – FEB 25, 2024

Written by Selina Fillinger
Directed by Jennifer Chambers
Featuring Ito Aghayere, Alexandra Billings, Lauren Blumenfeld, Shannon Cochran, Celeste Den, Jane Levy, Deirdre Lovejoy

A derogatory comment, a summit gone awry, an anal abscess—it’s a bad day at the White House. When the President unwittingly spins a PR nightmare into a global crisis, it inevitably falls on the seven women he relies on most to clean up the mess. Take a raucous romp through the halls of the West Wing in a riotous and irreverent farce about the men who hold the power vs. the women who get the job done.



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