The Playgoer: Talk Among Yourselves

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Friday, June 30, 2006

Talk Among Yourselves

"Ninety-nine percent of anything that's watchable and can be described as political theater is theater of the left."

-Tony Kushner, in today's NY Times. (Scroll to very end of this.)

True?

Does that include such unwatchable liberal feelgood exercises like, oh...Embedded?

The article, btw--celebrating the Public's "War Plays" season--bares an eerie resemblance to Matt Wolf's similar article to be found in the "Macbeth" Playbill itself. (I wish it was linked so I could show you. See the play and see for yourselves?) My charge is not plagarism at all. Just begs the question, what is the difference these days between feature reporting and printing a theatre's own publicity materials?

2 comments:

MattJ said...

Well I think what Kushner is saying is not that liberal political theatre is 'better' than conservative or something like that... I think he's just saying that there's very little political theatre (and good or watchable political theatre) going on, and when it is there, it's left wing and not right wing. He also seems to be insinuating a bit that when a play is political and "unwatchable" it isn't really left-wing exactly. I think he's right.

George Hunka said...

Surely you remember the bit of dialogue from an old episode of Yes, Prime Minister, as Hacker discusses funding the National Theatre with his Principal Private Secretary, Humphrey Appleby. It went something like this:

APPLEBY: Plays attacking the government constitute the second most boring evenings in the theater.
HACKER: And the first?
APPLEBY: Plays praising the government.