CMU School of Drama

Friday, December 02, 2016

What Can Theatre Do? A Post-Election Colloquy, Part 2

AMERICAN THEATRE: We received so many substantive responses to our field-wide query of playwrights and artistic directors about their response to the recent election that we made this a two-part effort. The questions we asked them all were: What are you hoping or intending to do in response to the election? And what can theatre do to shape or direct the national conversation?

1 comment:

Ruth Pace said...

What can theater do? The question seems loaded, like the innocent inquiry from your mother at the Thanksgiving table obviously serving as a lead-in about when you're going to have kids. I will be reflecting on the first piece in this article.
I'm not entirely sure that I have an answer for this question, even after reading this article, which is framed as a post-election discussion. This article makes bold claims about coming together as a community and serving all Americans. This article suggests sicking to mission statements like glue and providing "radical solidarity." This article recommends looking at "what we all share instead of what divides us."
But why should I do that? What if i want to put on incredibly divisive, unsafe theater? What if i want to confront America's divide straight in the face? What if I want to be confrontational and obtuse? Yes, theater is a powerful too for healing, providing one sidesteps relevant commentary and political discourse. Yes, theater is space for all.
but theater is not a blanket art form, one created and performed by the least confrontational cross-section of humanity. Theater is so much more than a bandage for this country's wounds, and should be treated as such.