Bekah Walsh poses flexing her muscle in front of a poster of the POTUS play.
Bekah Walsh in front of the cast poster for "POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass Are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive." Photo courtesy of Bekah Walsh.

Bekah Walsh had reverse buyer’s remorse — she’d almost bought the shirt so many times, but thought “Where would I wear it?” and kept deciding against it.

The shirt read “THERE’S A C*NTY DAWN COMING.” Her husband encouraged her, she finally bought it, and now, “I don’t care, I wear it EVERYWHERE,” she told Baltimore Fishbowl.

The shirt quotes a line from the play “POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass Are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive,” which falls into the “farce” subgenre of theater, and in which the word “c*nt” is spoken more than 20 times. It’s understandably classified as an “adult” comedy.

Walsh saw it during its limited run on Broadway and fell in love immediately. After seeing it a second time with her husband, who loved it despite being what Walsh described as “not a theater person,” she learned that it was not going on tour, but that Concord Theatricals was going to license the production.

“POTUS” is an all-female play, and the POTUS character is never seen or named. The theme is a repeated line, “Why isn’t SHE president?” and “Why aren’t YOU president?”

Walsh said people on both sides of the political spectrum can appreciate the play. She said it leaves just enough to the imagination to allow the audience to draw its own inferences.

“Hopefully it makes people think as much as it makes them laugh,” Walsh said.

A devoted Broadway fan, Walsh writes theater articles for Baltimore OUTloud and has amassed a dedicated following on InstagramFacebook, and TikTok

As a writer and huge supporter for community and regional theater, Walsh came up with the idea for a long-term project she’s dubbed the “POTUS Theater Trail.” She plans to attend regional productions of the POTUS play across the country to “showcase the vibrant Broadway to Regional Theatre pipeline, the trail will celebrate the diverse and talented creatives who bring these productions to life, while also capturing the unique audience reception in each region,” according to a press announcement.

Walsh told Fishbowl that at least 20 theaters around the country have announced they’re doing their own productions of “POTUS,” and Walsh is confirmed to see at least 12 of them, with several more in the works. Each production will be unique, and Walsh will share her personal experience and insights to offer readers a glimpse into the microworlds of different community and regional theaters around the country, including how each theater approaches the play.

Walsh’s tour begins in September 2023 and will continue through 2024. While certain trips will involve more than one city and production, others will just involve a single production in one town or city. “There will be periods of chaos and periods of quiet,” Walsh said with a laugh.

She’ll be creating content for her theater influencer accounts on social media for each city’s production, but as Baltimore OUTloud’s theater writer she is creating a cumulative piece about the entire project. That piece will give an overview explaining the theater pipeline, creative process with the individual productions, and answer questions people have asked about theater in general.

For example, Walsh explained that the difference between a touring and a licensed production is that a tour is the same production from city to city — sometimes with modifications to the Broadway version. A licensed production, on the other hand, is when a community or regional theater pays a fee to a theater company who owns the rights to the play or musical (in this case, Concord Theatricals) to produce their own version of the play or musical. The actors, directors, crew, and others who work on the show come from the surrounding community, and because they’ve paid for the rights to make their own version, they’re able to take more liberties with interpretations of the production.

This is another aspect of the project that appeals to one of Walsh’s core priorities. She wants to bring a “resurgence to the regional scene.”

“I hope that if people avoid community theater because they think it’s somehow ‘less than,’ they change their minds to see what’s right in their own backyard,” Walsh said.

Broadway World, who sold that “THERE’S A C*NTY DAWN COMING” shirt, sent the proceeds from its shirt sales to a different women-led advocacy organization each week. It’s no longer available for purchase.

For locals, “POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass Are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive” will be running at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. from Oct. 13 – Nov. 12, 2023. You can get tickets by clicking this link.