Theater Re: ISO Conservative Playwrights
posted by November 11 at 14:01 PMon
I don’t understand the recent obsession with wondering why there aren’t any conservative playwrights: Alison Carey at the Ashland Shakespeare Festival, Nicholas Hytner at the London National Theater, and now Terry Teachout at the Wall Street Journal.
Have there ever been conservative playwrights (other than the newly converted Mamet, who I suspect of a publicity stunt)? What would a conservative play look like? Hooray for the rule of law, minimize foreign entanglements, and strive for fiscal austerity?
I guess maybe The Imaginary Invalid, if abused as a political metaphor, could barely meet those criteria. But really, who cares? Conservative agitprop would be as wretched as liberal agitprop.
From Mr. Teachout:
the problem with today’s political theater is that its practitioners see their plays not as works of art but as means to an end. In such tedious exercises in left-wing agitprop as Sam Shepard’s “The God of Hell,” Caryl Churchill’s “Drunk Enough to Say I Love You?” and Tim Robbins’s “Embedded,” we are presented with a black-and-white universe of victims and villains, a place where every deck is stacked and never is heard a surprising word. Why would anybody with half a brain in his head — even a fire-breathing McCainiac, if such a creature exists — want to suffer through their right-wing equivalent?
Seriously. The theater-of-good-intentions has always made liberals look silly. Conservatives are better off without a version of their own.
And, to repeat: Conservatives who are fond of theatrics either work for Fox News or the clergy.