The Playgoer: Impeach Bush? Try Theatre!

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Thursday, November 01, 2007

Impeach Bush? Try Theatre!

"At a time when there appears to be no leadership in government to hold officials responsible for their actions, we are proceeding by way of a 'trial by theater,'­ the most compelling means at our disposal to offer the concerned citizens of this country a public platform to hold their government to account."

-Alan Buchman, director of The Culture Project, announcing "A Question of Impeachment"--a five-week festival of debates, readings, and lectures about firing and recasting the "leads" in this flop of a show we call the US of A.

Gotta hand it to the guy for always trying out new ways to do political theatre in this city.

Check it out. The list of speakers (both show people and talking heads) is quite...eclectic.

1 comment:

Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

I found the comments attributed to Culture Project artistic director Alan Buchman very interesting, but somewhat specious.

He stated, "While the idea of impeachment has been tarnished in recent years by a reputation of reprisal seeking, historically it has been and was intended to be a vital tool to ensure the ultimate defense of civil liberties and the upholding of the U.S. Constitution."

In truth, the only two American Presidents who have ever been impeached -- Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton (Richard Nixon resigned before the House could take formal, imminent action) -- were both targeted largely because of the type of chicanery Buchman deplores.

Back in 1868, radical Republicans were out to get Johnson, whom they believed had been far too conciliatory to the South in the aftermath of the Civil War. Johnson had committed no crime, yet he missed being convicted by the Senate by just one vote.

Of course, we all know what happened to Bill Clinton, whose lie under oath about his sexual picadillo provided a dubious "final straw" in Republicans' longstanding determination to get him.

Unfortunately, as "honorable" as the original intent of the use of impeachments may have been, the only times it's ever been fully realized have been strictly for political gain. Maybe Buchman could have used a better choice of words.

To be honest, as much as I often regret the choices made by our Congressional leaders, I would much rather leave matters of impeachment up to them than to actors to speculate on half the facts. What we must do is hold the feet of our elected officials to the fire.