Think Piece On Political Theater

Chloe Veltman once again goes beyond simply reviewing theater with an interesting article about political theater. If you’re one of my readers who writes political theater (that’d be you, Marisela), definitely take a look. Some choice paragraphs:

…Many theater artists understand the need to provoke audiences. But in attempting to challenge expectations, producers frequently forget that they’re supposed to be producing works of art rather than pieces of didactic rhetoric….

…Where is the contemporary theater’s answer to movies like Jason Reitman’s Thank You for Smoking, which forces audiences to question standard beliefs about the “evil empire” of big tobacco from an ostensibly smart liberal stance, and Oliver Hirschbiegel’s Downfall, the claustrophobic yet eerily gentle portrait of Hitler’s last days? I know stage plays with similar punch are out there.

…Documentaries like Fahrenheit 9/11 and An Inconvenient Truth might be weighty, well-made films of global significance…. But how many filmmakers can claim to have reacted to world events with the swiftness of, say, the Living Theatre back in the 1950s, or, to give a contemporary example, local theater director Mark Jackson, who incorporated new lines into his play The Death of Meyerhold in reaction to news about the capture of Saddam Hussein?

A wide-ranging and thoughtful piece that discusses everything from The Persians to Mother Courage to Angels in America, Bridge and Tunnel and even the San Francisco Mime Troupe. Nice.

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