The Hippodrome brings back its One City, One Story initiative

This fall, the Hippodrome is partnering with UF School of Theatre + Dance to bring to life George Orwell’s “1984.”

As a part of this theatrical adaptation, we are spearheading a community-wide read and conversation initiative called “One City, One Story,” which begs the question: “What if an entire community read the same book at the same time?”

Here’s what we think will happen: We’ll feel a common connection to our neighbors. We’ll ask ourselves important questions about the importance of truth, uncomformity and independence. We’ll be more willing to listen to others, and more open to starting conversations.

One City, One Story was first presented at the Hippodrome in 2002 in conjunction with our production of “The Diary of Anne Frank.” Fifteen years later, Gainesville’s One City, One Story project will bring the community together again through a variety events in late August and early September:


August 4, 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.: 1984 Observership Begins
Hippodrome Theatre
The Hippodrome Play Observership offers the opportunity for the public to go behind-the-scenes at a professional regional theatre and experience the creative process as the production team takes a play from page to stage. More information at

August 24, 6:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.: Drinks + Dystopia: A Hipp Book Club
Hippodrome Basement
Come drink wine, meet your fellow book lovers and explore the classic novel “1984” in the Hippodrome Basement. In partnership with the Alachua County Library District. Full cash bar. Learn more:

August 25, 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.: Auditions for Readings of “1984”
Hippodrome Theatre
Join the Hippodrome team and audition to participate in readings of “1984” throughout our community in the month of September. Looking for seniors and high school students.

August 30, 5:30 p.m.: Community Reading of 1984 – Stars on the Steps
Hippodrome Porch
Join your fellow citizens on the steps of the Hippodrome to read from the novel “1984.”


Sept. 1 | OPENING NIGHT of “1984” at the Hippodrome Theatre
8 p.m. | The Hippodrome Theatre
Tickets at and at the box office at (352)375-4477.

Sept. 8 | “1984” Through the Lens of the Teen Ensemble
4 p.m. | Porters Rec Center
The Hippodrome Teen Ensemble will participate in a workshop for kids at the Porters Recreation Center. There, they will explore “1984,” filtering it through their experiences with today’s social media platforms. Keep an eye out for more dates to come!

Sept. 10 | Actor Talkback
4 p.m., after the Sunday matinee | Mainstage of the Hippodrome Theatre
Hear the backstage stories and learn how the actors, directors and designers make the magic happen onstage.

Sept. 12 | “1984”: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow 
2:30 p.m. | Brookdale
Join the Hippodrome for a reading and discussion of themes in the novel from multi-generational perspectives.

Sept. 12 | Orwell’s Future; Our Present: A Talkback with Alex Woloch
9 p.m. | Mainstage of the Hippodrome Theatre
Attend a fascinating talkback with Alex Woloch, Professor and Chair of the Department of English at Stanford University and an Orwellian scholar, after the 7 p.m. performance of “1984.” He will discuss Orwell’s framework as a writer and his relevance in the contemporary political movement.

Sept. 14 | “1984”: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow 
3 p.m. | Oak Hammock
Join the Hippodrome for a reading and discussion of themes in the novel from multi-generational perspectives.

Sept. 15 | “1984”: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow 
4 p.m. | Alachua County Library (HQ branch in Downtown Gainesville)
Join the Hippodrome for a reading and discussion of themes in the novel from multi-generational perspectives

Sept. 18 | The Reality of Fake News In Our Orwellian World: A Panel Discussion
7 p.m. – 8:15 p.m. | Hippodrome Cinema
Join a panel of UF’s distinguished journalism faculty to discuss contemporary journalism as it relates to Orwell’s depiction of media manipulation.
Panel Participants include:
Mike Foley: Master Lecturer: Hugh Cunningham Professor in Journalism Excellence College of Journalism and Communications University of Florida
Kim Walsh-Childers: Professor College of Journalism and Communications University of Florida
Andrew Selepak: Director, MAMC Social Media College of Journalism and Communications University of Florida

ABOUT THE BOOK: “1984” garnered media interest after skyrocketing to the no.1 spot on Amazon’s bestsellers list in mid-January of this year. The following week, it clinched the top slot on USA Today’s bestsellers list, marking a rare occasion of sorts – only two other classic novels have ever been no.1 since the list began in 1993.

One City, One Story demonstrates the value of community, and we hope you will join us in celebrating ours.