How Political Should Theatre Be?

How Political Should Theatre Be?

I recently went to see a broadcast of David Hare’s new play, ‘I’m Not Running.’ A political comedy that is excellently staged, one exchange stood out to me. “I’m not political” claims Pauline when she first meets Sandy as his doctor, “why not?” is Sandy’s response.

This question is important because we should all be political, whether we want to be actively involved or not we should all be focused on politics as it affects every part of our lives. If you are lucky enough not to be political, it shows how you feel so secure and protected in your existence and have never had to worry about how someone’s opinions will affect your daily life. How far into politics and political agendas should theatre delve? Should theatre stay away from specific political events such as Brexit, and controversial political figures such as Donald Trump?

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Political Literacy in the Theatre

Political Literacy in the Theatre

So frequently in my rehearsal rooms, or in my classrooms, I hear theatre artists decry politics.  There seems to be an idea that one must learn their craft in a hermetically sealed bubble, lest the influences of the banal and mundane workings of the outside world impose themselves upon the art.  In the theatre, though, nothing could be farther from the truth. 

The fact is that ALL theatre is political.  The Public Theatre’s Oskar Eustis has said that it can be no coincidence that theatre and democracy were invented in at the same time.  He says “I think that theater is the democratic art—it's no mistake that they were invented in the same city in the same decade. It's the proper place to exercise democratic virtue, for the contesting of different points of view, identifying with other people, what citizens need”.

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Why We Need "Skintight"

Why We Need "Skintight"

This past Sunday I had the amazing pleasure of seeing Skintight. It's the new Off-Broadway play written by Joshua Harmon (Bad Jews, Significant Other). It follows Jodi Issac a middle-aged woman whose marriage falls apart after her now ex-husband leaves her for a younger woman. Left to pick up the pieces she visits her father for a weekend only to find her father is in a relationship with a much younger man who may or may not have secrets of his own. 

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Should the Tonys Start Nominating Off-Broadway Productions?

Should the Tonys Start Nominating Off-Broadway Productions?

Over the past couple of months, I've heard from more than one person that they are concerned that the over-commercialization of Broadway will mean that less "artistic" and original musicals will be recognized by the Tony Awards.

While I think they're overreacting, I don't think their concerns are completely unfounded. After all, this past year, there wasn't a single musical that wasn't based on a movie or TV show or that wasn't a jukebox collection.

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