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On Being a So-Called Political Playwright

Proposed. The McCarthy era maintains a lethal, if invisible, grip on the American theater. The bugaboo may no longer be Communism, but there are plenty of ideas forbidden, still. To be a political playwright in the United States is to be censored—financially. It would be better, I sometimes think, to be thrown in prison, at least then someone might notice. PEN might come to one’s defense. (I have been in prison for antiwar actions, only for a day or two, strip searched, handcuffed for eight or more hours; I am not taking prison lightly). Financial censorship, like the blacklist of old, is the slow suffocation method—neither you nor your work is allowable, allowed. Just as torture under democratic governments has been engineered not to leave marks, so censorship, because economic, remains invisible.*

Here is a short list of subjects you are unlikely to see on the institutional or commercial American stage: abortion, treated fairly, objectively, or even mentioned, for that matter, and other reproductive rights; corporate malfeasance, especially related to any bank or corporation that sponsors a cultural institution (and haven’t the anti-union, Tea Party creating Koch brothers just endowed Lincoln Center, for but one example); pro-contemporary labor union organizing plays; man-made climate change addressed as the scientific fact it is. Also, these truths about the Iraq war: the U.S. invaded under false pretences; the war, which killed, wounded and displaced millions of Iraqis, was illegal and immoral; more U.S. combat veterans will soon be dead at their own hands by suicide than were killed in fighting. You won’t see plays about drone warfare in Pakistan or Afghanistan, or about illegal detention and torture at Bagram Air Force Base and other black site prisons, or plays about the National Defense Authorization Act signed into law by President Obama on New Year’s Eve that allows for the indefinite detention of American citizens arrested on American soil; nor will you see plays that critique the idea of American Exceptionalism (i.e., the solipsism that any thing the U.S. does is good because we do it and we are good). You won’t see plays that address the growing income gap, the depth of American poverty and our lack of upward mobility, or the fact that so many of our citizens have no health insurance; nor will you see any play that looks at the health care insurance industry, and the quality of health care it provides, in a critical light. You won’t see plays that speak to the issues raised by the Occupy Movement, like the burden of student debt (especially, I might add, for would-be artists graduating MFA programs) nor will you see plays that advocate nonviolent resistance to any of the above injustices. You won’t see many plays that portray Palestinians in a favorable light and none that critique Israel’s Occupation, or the American government’s support of it. Nor plays that address the growing drum-beat to bomb Iran (and because of the lack of plays that addressed the war in Iraq few theater goers will be able to note that in the case of Iran, too, the intelligence is being fixed to suit a pro-violence agenda).

“Audiences and critics don’t want to see plays that are about anything,” an institutional theater producer said to me several years ago. “Your play is too risky,” said another.

Recently, I co-edited a book Acts of War: Iraq & Afghanistan in Seven Plays. The plays we chose, by British and American playwrights (my play Prophecy, included), each speak to more than one of the forbidden topics above. Only David Hare’s The Vertical Hour made it to Broadway, for a short run, where it was not received well by the NY critics; it was later staged, and better reviewed, in London. All four plays by American playwrights were produced at small theaters, in two cases outside the U.S. One play was dropped from The Great Game (a series of plays about the history of the wars in Afghanistan produced by Nick Kent of the Tricycle Theater, London) for being too anti-war. One play (mine) was viciously attacked in a large, Friday, New York Times review—though it was running to sold-out audiences. Economic censorship applies in each case.

In virtually every other location around the globe, the theater is expected to be a moral force. Theater is a way of speaking truth to power, often when there is no other. Only in the United States do we believe in “entertainment” separate from social and political realities. Only in the United States do living room couches dominate center stage. Only here do we persist in the wrong belief that political theater is “issue theater” and that “issue theater” is most likely bad art that appeals to few.

All political theater, so-called, shares an underlying assumption: the social order may be unjust, the particular war may be wrong, but/and there is within the individual and within the social contract, always, the possibility for transformation, for change. We are not doomed to constantly relive the failures of the past; we are not predetermined predators.

a woman with two dogs
Karen Malpede.
Photo by Theater Three Collaborative. 

Political theater is neither bad theater (were Ibsen, Brecht, Genet, Miller, Fornes, Churchill, Euripides bad playwrights?) nor is political theater about issues, any more than any play is about issues. All plays are about something. The question is whether or not that something matters very much. Let me put it another way. The world-view of a playwright, and of a play, is contained not within the dialogue, it is not about what the characters say. The world view of the playwright and the play is contained within the structure; it is revealed by what the characters do and how they do it—by the nature of their moral choice making. All political theater, so-called, shares an underlying assumption: the social order may be unjust, the particular war may be wrong, but/and there is within the individual and within the social contract, always, the possibility for transformation, for change. We are not doomed to constantly relive the failures of the past; we are not predetermined predators. Human nature and human societies are in constant process of flux. In this, the imagination has a crucial part to play. Whatever we are able to imagine, we might yet be able to become. If we cannot first imagine ourselves as other than we are, we will never be able to change our ways. The arc of history may be long but it bends toward justice, to quote Dr. Martin Luther King; so, too, the arc of the necessary play bends toward social and psychological revelation and change (in classical Aristotelian terms: recognition and reversal). By which I mean to say, the necessary play contains within its structure an analysis that opens up possibilities for justice. (So many economically successful modern American plays, I think of the tradition including Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, August, Osage County batter us into submission: we are no good, and mainly because of the women in our lives).

But the theater could envision a life that is simpler, in which we show greater compassion for both the self and the other; a life based on renewable energy sources, not oil, in which we use less, and replenish more, or climate change will ravage, first the poor in low-lying tropical places, but, eventually all of us. Does not such a theater have a valid role to play? Theater can show us how we change; it can detail how perception is altered. For this is what important art must be. Instructive, enlightening, enlivening, illuminating of personal and social responsibility and possibility. The audience then would leave the theater more awake than when they arrived, not dulled as if they’d sat for two hours giving blood.

Because I wrote the introduction to Acts of War, I spent a lot of time mulling over the plays. I was looking for shared strategies among these seven playwrights, who write in very different styles, but who were each critiquing in bold and compelling ways the wanton, uncalled for aggression of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the effects of such aggression upon the human spirit. They were each looking for redemptive actions, too; ways in which characters came to face the truth and grow. I call these plays representative of “a theater of witness.” Another way of saying it is that each of these seven plays represent an “aesthetic of justice,” to borrow an apt term from Judith Butler.

If you go to Kickstarter or to United States Artists.Org (where participating artists must have won a nationally recognized award) you will see a slew of projects that have a strong social component: they are about envisioning social change, a more equitable, just, sustainable environment, with fewer incarcerated people, fewer deaths by American fire power, less poverty and greed. These are the arts projects conceived outside of the institutions; they are artist driven, and funded by artists’ friends and followers.

Each of the seven plays in Acts of War recognizes violence not as inevitable, but as avoidable. Each play understands the deleterious effects on human character of war. Each play honors the dead by creating characters who hear the voices of the dead, and who feel culpable. Each invokes dramaturgical devices that alter characters’ and audience perception of what is. I came to these conclusions: “Without the exploration of contemporary history’s impact on the psyche, characters are unredeemed, and society stays mired in the fatal violent sacrifice of the young that is and always has been war. With insight, new ways of being almost suddenly appear. Thus the potentiality latent in a theater of witness must not be underestimated. Audiences who are deeply moved, whose perceptions have been altered, who are immersed in ambiguity, who recognize the other in themselves and remember the dead, who have come this far together, in the communal seeing place of theater, have been changed. They feel more alive, courageous, more affirmed in their connectedness, more able to be present in the world.”

Standing between a witnessing theater that embodies an aesthetic of justice and a vital audience that wants to part-take in such experiences is the economic censorship hobbling institutional theaters. Here, we begin to see a grass roots movement of artists in defiance. If you go to Kickstarter or to United States Artists.Org (where participating artists must have won a nationally recognized award) you will see a slew of projects that have a strong social component: they are about envisioning social change, a more equitable, just, sustainable environment, with fewer incarcerated people, fewer deaths by American fire power, less poverty and greed. These are the arts projects conceived outside of the institutions; they are artist driven, and funded by artists’ friends and followers.

The Occupy Movement, as an umbrella for all movements directed toward social justice, might yet grow large enough to sustain a theater that speaks to it. A thriving theater requires a social will around it, for which it can be both responsive and visionary. Once we had a Federal Theater Project in this country, run by an extraordinary woman named Hallie Flanagan. Federal Theater was killed by Congress in 1939, at the very start of what became the McCarthy era. How many American playwrights know the history of Federal Theater (where Arthur Miller and Orson Wells got their start and Susan Glaspell worked)? How many have read Flanagan’s Arena?How many of us know how to take sustenance from our past in order to fight for a sustainable future?

*In his definitive study of torture, Torture and Democracy, Darius Rejali makes this point: democratic governments don’t want to leave marks, as torture is supposedly anathema. Princeton, 2007.

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Karen: With all due respect, what you are experiencing is not censorship. The fact that most, even all, media outlets have individually chosen not to review your show is most likely the result of lack of interest on their part, which is unfortunately quite common when it comes to very small theatres. Dozens and dozens of productions don't get much, if any press, because the media outlets simply can't see everything. Unless the members of the New York press actively and collectively decided not to cover your production on the basis that they found it offensive, they are not engaging in censorship. Otherwise, all productions that don't get covered could make the same claim.

I have to agree with Seth. I am a member of the Small Theatre Alliance of Boston and last year we conducted a survey of our members and discovered that only a small number of theatre critics were even showing up to see shows by the smaller companies with any consistency. Consider also that theatre coverage has dropped off considerably in the mainstream press-- so most critics (and their editors) are ignoring anything not playing to the medium to large sized houses.

My new play, Another Life, with six fantastic performances, including an amazing one by the major actor, George Bartenieff and which runs only through Saturday,, in Brooklyn at Irondale (www.irondale.org/Anotherlif... is being censored right now. We are under a COMPLETE press Blackout. I simply want to ad that a number of artists whose work I admire, plus an full house of African-American educators, and many other audience members are calling my new play,in the production that runs only through Saturday night, "brilliant." So, I might add are lawyers, and writers on the human rights front. I am enormously proud of this work, and our audiences are of all ages; from an 102 woman, Miss Mary, to students at LaGuardia Community College, and high school students. All have admired what is a stunning, absolutely a stunning, a fantastic production with a brilliant cast. We are under A COMPLETE PRESS BLACK OUT. There is not one word in print about this play. (There is one total slam, I don't read these things so I can't say more in TheaterMania) There is NOTHING despite the fact that I know the play was recommended to the NYTimes. If you want evidence of censorship of a work POETIC purity and profound audience affect-- this is it. Several respected, highly respected, artists have said to me "this play deserves a Pulitzer Prize". A major philosopher said, "It reminds me of another great work of art, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein". I know what we've done, and with the tiniest budget. We've put a fantastic cast on stage with beautiful design, in a play that I my very, very best. Censorship is what I get. Case in point.

Thanks for sticking your neck out Karen, this is an interesting discussion. There are several subjects here: the politics of institutional theatre which is worried about alienating its donors/critics/audience; the difficulty of writing a good political play; whether there are or should be plays that represent more than one (a liberal or left) point of view; who one's audience is. I had a little fit when Jupiter wrote that he was sick of plays written for 50 year old liberals so I'd like to address who one writes for and to what purpose one writes. Well actually that would be a ridiculously long post but I'll just say that a play--a novel, short story, piece of art--shifts something in me. It illuminates something about living; it makes life new. Sometimes it takes on the noble and important task of addressing some incident of our country's past or present which had or is having terrible and tragic consequences; it tries to lift a veil, to excavate buried truths, to make the world a better place. But I don't think the playwrights I admire who write overtly political plays write for liberal 50 year olds (or anyway not exclusively). They write for their community or they write for the greater public or Congress (as they write for Chekhov or Brecht or a lover or parent--in my experience there are often several people in the room with me as I write) and they write to cause social or political change. They write to shine a light on something that has been in the dark. And that's a good thing.

Very pleased to see this dialogue happening! Thanks for starting the thread, Karen!There have been several points made that I fully agree with and want to expand on. First, when comparing the role of politically-driven theatre now to previous periods in history, we have to take into account the explosion of cultural and media outlets through which people engage the world. In ancient Greece, theatre was THE public forum for civic dialogue. Under oppressive governments in the 20th century, theatre has often been THE underground voice of dissent. But we live in a time and place where (a) there are thousands of outlets for receiving information and engaging in civic dialogues, (b) each individual can literally add their voice to the conversation from the privacy of their home, (c) expressing your individual voice (largely via your computer) has become the expected way individuals contribute to the civic dialogue (as opposed to art or activism), and (d) in spite of all the anger felt by anyone of us about anything at any time, we have more freedom than at any time or place in history. I see the challenge of producing politically-driven theatre to be what I call the "Separation of Art and State." There is a widely held sentiment that art is for entertainment, inspiration and beauty, and that injecting politics into it reduces art to "issues' and "agendas." As Tony Kushner once said, when producing politcal theatre the work needs to be so good as to transcend the issues and ideas it harbors in order to be considered genuinely good art. In other words, it can't be "just as good" as a non-political play; it has to be better. Why is this so? I think, because people -- regardless of whether they are liberal, conservative or something else -- have become so entrenched in their beliefs and so hostile to the opposition, that they are literally incapable of engaging ideas that challenge their world view without getting angry, and thus, thrown out of the world of the play. Personally, I am not terribly engaged by plays that affirm what I already know and feel, unless they do it in an unusaul way or with unusual insight and passion. Most politically-themed plays that get produced around the country affirm their largely liberal audiences' values. The reasons for this are (a) it makes for good box office, and (b) 99% (I'm leaving 1% open for good measure) of playwrights are decidedly liberal in their point of view. As a theater that produces ONLY politically-driven plays, I can tell you that virtually all of what gets sent to us represents a fairly narrow, and frankly obvious (at least, to liberals) point of view. Typically, within 12-18 months of a major controversial issue's emergence on the national radar, we are inundated with a slew of plays channeling remarkably similar sentiments in remarkably similar ways. For instance, around 2003-04 we began to get dozens of plays about the Iraq war. Most of them were about well-intentioned, "good" American soldiers who had done or seen terrible things perpetrated by their country on (noble, wise and/or innocent) Iraqis at the behest of our (evil or misguided) government, now facing the challenges of re-acclimating to normal life, haunted by (literal or figurative) ghosts, and alienating their loved ones. Similarly, in the wake of the scandal at Abu Ghraib and the national debate around torture, we received dozens of plays about the immorality of torture and our (evil or misguided) government that (directly or tacetly) supports it. More recently, it has been the financial crisis and the increasing wealth disparity. I chose to produce Mike Lew's MICROCRISIS, not because it challenged my values (I have yet to find one that does on the subject) but be because it took a decidedly absurdist, nearly farcical approach that was highly entertaining, while incredibly informative. A handful of the plays we've read were really worthy, offering surprising or deeply moving or hilariously outrageous takes on these issues and events. But the overwhelming majority were mired in the playwright's inability to imagine a truly extraordinary story and/or consider, with subtlety and complexity, the political sentiments raised in their play. There is absolutely nothing wrong, of course, with a play advocating a particular point of view, but it runs a higher risk of being more preachy and less artful. Even when most playwrights set out to tackle two or more sides to an issue it is surprisingly difficult to escape their own sentiments. KEELY AND DU comes to mind. Here was a play by Jane Martin, the intent of which was clearly (to me, at least) to explore the abortion divide with balance and fairness. And if you just read the personal and political arguments in the play, you might feel it was successful. Except for the fact that the pro-life character KIDNAPS AND HOLDS HOSTAGE the pro-choice character, thereby making the former the indisputable villain.I have to go to a meeting now.But I don't believe there is so much a censorship going on as a general cultural move toward the "Separation of Art and State."

Kathleen //
This seems like it's not quite an invitation to civil discourse, but if you truly are looking for political plays that land on the liberal side of the debate , I can offer up, off the top of my head, the following:

- As We Go Upon The Sea by Lee Blessing
- Stuff Happens by David Hare
- The Lovesong Of Robert J Oppenheimer by Carson Kreitzer
- That Pretty Pretty, or the Rape Play by Sheila Callaghan
- The Poor Itch by John Belluso
- Palestine by Najla Said
- The Vagina Monologues and The Good Body by Eve Ensler
- Hurt Village by Katori Hall
- Microcrisis by Michael Lew
- Lidless by Francis Ya-Chu Cowhig
- School of the Americas by José Rivera

And, in musicals, these come to mind
- Lysistra Jones by Douglas Carter Beane & Lewis Flinn
- Fela! By Bill T Jones and Jim Lewis
- The Scottsborough Boys by David Thompson and John Kander

Almost all of these topics have graced Kansas City stages in the last few years. Perhaps the writer should look further than the commercial stage? Even though our biggest commercial theatre right now is producing the global warming play The Great Immensity.

If anything, theatre is afraid of any politics that isn't left-wing preaching to the choir watered down rhetoric.

I'd give anything for a play that wasn't trying to make 50-year-old liberals feel good about themselves.

Hey Jupiter do you have any links to feel-good plays for 50-year-old liberals? I'd really appreciate some links. Also, maybe if you have links to feel-bad plays for apathetic 34 year olds that would be great, and also I'm interested in knowing how I can get plays for reactionary 42-year-olds. It would be fantastic for this database that's being discussed to have categories like "for Marxist audiences" or "for audiences interested in polemical plays" or "comedies devoid of political intentions." This idea could snowball on this site I think if everyone rolled up his--um, her--um its sleeve(s).

And every play is political, either overtly or subversively.

In general the theatre-going audience is older, liberal, educated, and financially stable. The plays that are going to do well are the plays that appeal most to these people, which are the plays that make them feel like their lives are important and worthwhile and their view of the world is the correct one. You will rarely find a play that challenges this audience.

I'm not saying that this is a bad thing. It's just the way it is. I'm actually one of these people which is probably why theatre appeals to me, but my view of the world is rarely challenged at the theatre. It's generally affirmed and glorified as the higher truth.

Yes, theatres sometimes lack courage in programming choices, especially when they fear it may alienate a major funder.

However, when the New York Times doesn't like your play, it's not economic censorship. Also, when people buy tickets to your play that doesn't (necessarily) mean the reviewers were wrong, though they sometimes are -- but at any rate, that's always subjective.

By the way, no one is speaking about "preaching" (I certainly am not) nor am I speaking about a lack of character, and conflicted characters, at that. Poetic language, characters who are complex, conflicted, torn, often compromised and wrong-headed, and yet who might be capable of "enormous changes at the last minute" to quote my friend Grace Paley; humor, grace, inner conflict, complexity of emotion and idea, and depth are exactly what I am speaking about--and are what all good plays have that represent a witnessing or social justice aesthetic. There is always this strange assumption, represented in some of the responses here, that so-called "political theater" is not as profound as what do you want to call it--theater that does not challenge anyone's assumptions, that does not express a will toward understanding the imperiled planet on which we live and which we share?

I think you made it very clear that you want American stages to present the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a very partisan manner-- so I'm not really sure you can say that you're not talking about "preaching" -- at least not on that matter. I also find it interesting that that is one of the places you are very specific about wanting an issue presented with a particular bias as opposed to simply presenting plays about issues that most producing companies don't want to touch. There's nothing wrong about a "social-justice aesthetic" but as we all know, there is no justice without due-process.

I certainly agree with you that "political issue" plays can be as profound (if not more so) as any others. I think one of the factors here is that we live in a country with many other areas of free political discussion. We have a free media and a free (for now) internet. We can petition, assemble, protest, vote, and strike. Many of the well-known political plays of the past were written in countries where these things were impossible or dangerous. Of course our democracy is not without its faults, but it is a democracy nonetheless. Therefore, our political theater can afford to be more complex. Luckily, we are not the only ones "speaking truth to power." Our audiences have a wealth of entertainment options to choose from, as well as plenty of information sources. They are informed and often politically engaged. So the question becomes: how do we offer them something they can get nowhere else? Something beyond the political facts? We write compelling (and still political) stories. I think we are in agreement here.

Just saw Jason Grote's Civilization (all you can eat) at Woolly Mammoth. It's a fantastic play that tackles consumerism, debt, and big business at the dawn of the Great Recession. It is very political, yet it doesn't preach. The characters hold a variety of opinions and viewpoints, so they seem like complete people, rather than extensions of the playwright's political agenda. I think a successful political "issue" play (since, I agree, Karen, all plays are political in some sense) is one that approaches a topic with an exploratory, open-ended mindset, as this one did. Too many playwrights try to teach the audience a lesson, as if they were at school or at church, and they wind up with audiences that are resentful or bored. Writing from the mindset of "this is the truth" is problematic - there is always more than one side, whether we are talking about Israel and Palestine, or President Obama's (very necessary) signing the Defense budget. As playwrights, we must be even better at listening than we are at speaking. But as long as we can recognize the complexities of a political topic, we can write with enough humility to earn the audience's respect.

There may be too little political engagement on American stages, but I'd hardly say that it is as absent as you suggest: I'm certainly aware of a number of productions in my neck of the woods of plays that not only have addressed some of the issues you mentioned, but take the perspectives you suggest. That said, I'm with those who would prefer that when theatre does get political, that it do so with greater nuance-- and I'm not convinced that following London's lead would take us in that direction. As a writer, I am far more intrigued with exploring ideologies with which I disagree and understanding their world view. I'd also note that audiences are well capable of grasping allegory: Brecht wasn't staging plays about contemporary events, it was up to his audiences to figure out how they related to the times they lived in.

Dear Karen,

How lovely to read your words, after all these years. I was a student of yours at NYU in the 90's, and I've always cherished the time I spent in your classes.

I’ve become a playwright, myself, and your piece here has inspired me to keep pushing the envelope, and tackling these taboo / political topics. I'm currently working on a play which focuses on the PTSD and suicide of an American soldier who comes home from Iraq; I also have a friend and fellow playwright who is writing a play about a young soldier who comes home and threatens to kill his wife and unborn child - and he actually seems to have a producer interested! So... there is *some* hope.

Again, thank you for writing this. It needs to be said, needs to be discussed, and these taboo subjects need to be seen on stage.

Cara (Burdick) Winter

This commentary is dead-on; there is indeed too little political engagement in American theater, which is notable primarily because theater is uncommonly well suited for political content. The InterAct in Philadelphia and Stage Left in Chicago are two admirable exceptions, as is Second City in Chicago for an approach that's more opinionated and satirical (but no less substantive).

I will observe that most often, political theater at its finest doesn't adopt a strict ideological or polemical point of view; part of theater's appeal is that, unlike prose, it lives in the assorted characters' dialogue without being mediated by a narrative voice, so there's an opportunity for every perspective on stage to assert itself. One of the great things about Angels in America is that Roy Cohn, for all his villainy, gets to articulate his reasoning, which has its own integrity; we get to try on his worldview.

As a result I'd argue it's not necessary to call for plays that categorically assert the factuality of man-made climate change or the immorality of the Iraq War; it would be sufficient to have plays that addressed, through compelling drama, the issues of climate change and the Iraq War. The truth of those matters would emerge from the storytelling accordingly, and in a more thorough and nuanced way than you'll find on the opinion pages.

Lovely & thought provoking.

Here are three of the thoughts:

- I have seen theater about all of these topics at Interact in Philadelphia. Interact is the same age as the Arden and the Wilma in that community, yet, of the three, possibly due to its mission of producing political plays through personal lenses, it is the only one that is not producing in its own, newly built theater with really steady, large scale institutional funding. I don't write this to point out a flaw in the other two - they both produce strong, vital theater. But it may well be that corporate and possibly public funding are wary of an organization might attack them in pursuit of their mission...

- Political plays I have seen have all offered up the "liberal" perspective. I have seen (sometimes worked on) pro-Palestinian work, searing explorations of the impact of modern colonialism, a burlesque about the financial meltdown rippig into bankers, indictments of the super rich, and works exploring the horrors of our recent wars. I have never seen, onstage (or even on the page) a play written from a contemporary conservative point of view. Is it possible that we don't see as much political theater because there is no honest interest in a multi-faceted dialogue about this within the community?

- Every play I've worked on that could be considered both political and artistically successful has, first and foremost, been a character driven work about human interactions - I know this is sort of Playwriting 101, but many of the scripts I've read that have put ideas before characters have felt terribly thin. Even a play as subject driven as "Stuff Happens" is really an exploration of character - Hare tries to understand who the people were in that situation, and why they did what they did - what personal and social forces were at work on them. So, I wonder if, among all the good plays bein written, there aren't fewer standouts in this particular field, because writing opinion instead of character seems to be a very easy trap for the politically minded playwright.

Thanks for making us all think!


Thank you Karen. Refreshing to hear talk of the economic censorship. Definitely happening in our country. It happens to our own elections for cripes sake, so our theatre certainly suffers from it.

I have hope that we can find the solutions to protect and preserve political art in the future and really embrace all art for the political reality it is a part of, thanks!