Down in Jungleland
Down In Jungleland is based on a true story, the prosecution of Sandy Salim Lewis by Rudolph Giuliani in the late 1980’s. This play goes against the grain of recent dramas that take Wall Street to task. The play examines an insider who is bent on reforming the Street. He’s smart, abrasive, uncompromising, and is a product of a special school for troubled children. The play also focuses on the man who prosecuted him for a case that was later pardoned and called an act of “market vigilantism”, an act of financial civil disobedience. The prosecutor is also smart and single minded, and he, too, has a troubled family history. The story is not just about the case, but follows both characters from the late 1960’s until the late 1980’s so that the collision can be understood in relation to the eras and how these men changed. The play is thoroughly researched through archival journalism and close contact with an author who wrote about Lewis. The style of the play is cinematic, a backdrop, a bare stage surrounded by chairs where a “chorus” plays multiple characters and sometimes interacts in expressionistic ways with the two protagonists.