What's Next: A Backstage Pass to The West Wing, Its Cast and Crew, and Its Enduring Legacy of Service

What's Next: A Backstage Pass to The West Wing, Its Cast and Crew, and Its Enduring Legacy of Service

What's Next: A Backstage Pass to The West Wing, Its Cast and Crew, and Its Enduring Legacy of Service

What's Next: A Backstage Pass to The West Wing, Its Cast and Crew, and Its Enduring Legacy of Service


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A behind-the-scenes look into the creation and legacy of The West Wing as told by cast members Melissa Fitzgerald and Mary McCormack, with compelling insights from cast and crew exploring what made the show what it was and how its impassioned commitment to service has made the series and relationships behind it endure.

Step back inside the world of President Jed Bartlet’s Oval Office with Fitzgerald and McCormack as they reunite the West Wing cast and crew in a lively and colorful “backstage pass” to the timeless series. This intimate, in-depth reflection reveals how The West Wing was conceived, and spotlights the army of people it took to produce it, the lifelong friendships it forged, and the service it inspired. 
From cast member origin stories to the collective cathartic farewell on the show’s final night of filming, What’s Next will delight readers with on-set and off-camera anecdotes that even West Wing superfans have never heard. Meanwhile, a deeper analysis of the show’s legacy through American culture, service, government, and civic life underscores how the series envisaged an American politics of decency and honor, creating an aspirational White House beyond the bounds of fictional television. 
What’s Next revisits beloved episodes with fresh, untold commentary; compiles poignant and hilarious stories from the show’s production; highlights initiatives supported by the cast, crew, and creators; and makes a powerful case for competent, empathetic leadership, hope, and optimism for whatever lies ahead.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780593184547
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/13/2024
Pages: 608
Sales rank: 3,784
Product dimensions: 9.10(w) x 6.40(h) x 2.10(d)

About the Author

Melissa Fitzgerald is an actor, producer and social justice advocate. As an actor, Melissa is best known for her seven-year role as Carol on the award-winning television series, The West Wing. While in Hollywood, Melissa co-founded Voices in Harmony, a mentoring program that uses theater to work with historically underserved teens. She took Voices in Harmony to war-torn northern Uganda to work with former abducted child soldiers, resulting in the award-winning documentary “After Kony: Staging Hope.” She is also co-executive producer of “Halfway Home,” a film that profiles several returning veterans as they share their struggles reintegrating after experiencing the trauma of war. In 2013, Melissa left Hollywood to champion justice system reform at All Rise where she is at the forefront of engaging the public in the expansion of treatment courts and advancing justice system responses for individuals impacted by substance use and mental health disorders. She has been published in The New York Times and The Washington Post and is a recipient of the Secretary of the Army’s Public Service Medal. Melissa is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre. She lives in Washington, DC.

Mary McCormack is an actor, producer, and activist who played Deputy National Security Advisor Kate Harper on The West Wing. A Tony-nominated Broadway actress, she is known for a diversity of roles across film, television, and theater. Mary is an outspoken advocate for a whole host of causes, from social justice and women’s rights to veterans' issues and criminal justice reform. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and three daughters.
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