CMU School of Drama

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Political Theater Heats Up the Box Office in Washington, D.C.

Variety: Ever since the tempestuous presidential election season, the country at large can’t stop talking about politics. In Washington D.C., that’s always been business as usual — only now, locals are showing a new surge of interest in politically themed theater, with a string of box office hits that fly in the face of the old D.C. theater dictum that politics don’t sell on stage.


Zak Biggins said...

I'm glad that political theatre is really starting to engage audience members. This year we have seen actions taken that are unprecedented. This election will go down in history as one of the scariest, in my opinion. I think theatre and art is at an all time high right now despite our president's actions to eliminate their existence. I believe what is occurring in our nation is fueling art everywhere. I also believe political theatre is a result of the Hamilton revolution...That story is being spread across the country in two touring productions, a chicago production, and a broadway production. Lin Manuel Miranda is also launching a West End production. It is wild how many people are actively engaged in the arts, and this story specifically. Prior to seeing hamilton, my only interaction with a political musical was the satirical Clinton the musical. It was actually surprisingly hilarious and really informative of the Clinton administration.

Simone Schneeberg said...

I'm really glad that these plays are being created and performed with an extreme eye for accuracy and expertise. They consult experts and Gero even talks to Scalia (which I find very surprising and I'm not quite sure why). I think that if we try to tackle heavy political issues, the only correct way to do them is to make sure we are being as true to reality as possible. This will prevent further agitation, in my opinion, as best is possible. It will open doors for conversation, which is what I think we truly need. If we can ensure that these shows accurately portray multiple sides of the story as well, then we can help people to start listening to each other and bridge this polarizing gap that plagues the nation. We need to listen, we need to talk, and I think theater is a fun medium to do so in. It's entertainment, so it is inherently fun (maybe not bouncing around, peppy, happy fun, but nonetheless fun).