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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

ISO Conservative Playwrights

posted by on October 22 at 10:33 AM

From the National Review:

Alison is a 48 year old Harvard graduate who is now director of American Revolutions (snazzy title that!) at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland—one of the largest repertory companies in the country, which produces 11 plays a year.

“You cannot tell the story of the United States without including the story of conservative political and social movements,” said Alison Carey told the New York Times.

You’re not looking very hard, Alison. Didn’t David Mamet just shift his allegiance from “brain-dead liberal” to half-baked conservative? (Or was that just a late-career publicity stunt?)

Neil LaBute might count in a classical Hobbesian, war-of-all-on-all kind of way.

Other than that, you’re out of luck. Conservatives who love theatrics either work for Fox News or the clergy.

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Or, they make a cameo appearance in the smash masterpiece, "An American Carol." IMHO, conservatives are stunted when it comes to creativity and imagination.

Posted by Madashell | October 22, 2008 10:46 AM

Um, maybe I'm not reading closely enough but I don't see where Ms. Carey states she is "ISO Conservative Playwrights." Her statement is true; for much of our recent history conservative movements and the fight against such movements have shaped our nation. OSF has a strong history of doing politically charged plays. In 2003 they premiered the Continental Divide cycle by David Edgar, they have been producing August Wilson plays for many seasons and it seems as if American Revolutions is in this tradition.

Posted by DanInSeattle | October 22, 2008 10:55 AM

There are ten plays written by Shakespeare listed as Histories, all starting with the word "King"; the Oregon Shakespeare Festival has done them all at least once. The Histories are loaded with all kinds of politics, although Shakespeare did revisions so Queen Liz wouldn't take off his head. There are characters in "Richard the Third" you could swear were being channeled by Cheney and Rove. You can find elements of political strife in every one of his Tragedies, too, such as in Julius Caesar, Titus Andronicus, or Coriolanus. OSF has performed "The Crucible", which would be a good illustration of the evils of fundamentalism right now.
So even if there aren't new plays being written by neocons, there are plenty of classics which show the destruction which occurs due to conservative control.
Maybe someone should write a musical titled "Springtime for Palin"!

Posted by eliza | October 22, 2008 11:12 AM

What DaninSeattle said, they've done quite a few politically motivated plays in the last few years. I can see them wanting to do more.

Continental Divide was freaking terrible, though. Ugh.

Posted by Rachel | October 22, 2008 11:16 AM

@3, even the comedies, a number of which depend on some overbearing, quick-tempered, power-mad duke. Remind you of anyone?

Posted by onewink3 | October 22, 2008 12:49 PM

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