Tag: theater

Serious Question: Where Can We Come Together?

 

The question we should all be asking after this year’s Olympics is, “What is up with women’s soccer players?” 

2021 saw an unprecedented spike in Olympic wokeness. It wasn’t just America (as I have heard many say,) but it appears to have been only women and mostly soccer players. 

Weak-minded Inclusion

 

Weak-minded inclusion is defined (by me) as, “inclusion for your own benefit more so than for the benefit of those you include.” It is a watered-down and self-serving subset of “niceness.” The practitioners of this type of “inclusion” focus more on the message projected to the rest of society than on the real human beings within their influence.

Weak-minded inclusion has been perfectly exemplified by the endless litany of professional theater companies who rapidly and sloppily added words like “equity, diversity, and inclusion” to their websites following the case of George Floyd and Derek Chauvin.  

Member Post

 

James O’Keefe, of Project Veritas, will be playing the lead role (‘Curly’) in an outdoor production of of Rogers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!.  The production is ‘in solidarity with artists who’ve been cancelled.’  Roseland, Virginia, August 19–September 5. Preview Open

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Loving Pain as Given: A Review of Heroes, a Dark Twist on the Grateful Acre

 

For B, and other youth whose grateful acres host, if not prairies, at least patchy meadows. And for Gary McVey.

It’s been a year since Will Arbery’s play, Heroes of the Fourth Turning, took the conservative Catholic blogosphere – or rather, that part able to see the play or a private script – by storm. Now the script is available to the public. I ordered my copy here. If you can afford to, read it. Theaters remain closed, but the theater of imagination richly rewards reading a play. Reading reveals motifs easy to miss when a play just happens to you in performance and you can’t revisit it. This review addresses unspoken pressures, like the prosperity gospel (which may not influence orthodox Christians’ theology, but can influence their social expectations), behind what conservatives speculate is Heroes’ demonic finale, the “We” who may, or may not be, Legion.

Member Post

 

Many American businesses seem to now feel it is incumbent on them to take positions on the political issues of the day, even at the cost  of alienating a substantial number of their customers. There is a historical precedent for this–the British actress Fanny Kemble, visiting the US circa 1830 observed with amusement a store […]

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A Conservative’s “Hamilton”?

 

Imagine this: The insular world of the Manhattan theater scene is buzzing about an exciting new play by a brilliant outsider. It’s a tour de force of Black acting and true American history, mixed with dazzling dramatic craft and lacerating humor that wins over even its ideological opponents. It’s talked about in The New York Times, touted for theater prizes, and becomes one of the hottest tickets in town. You know this story, right?

But this was all in 1997, eighteen years before “Hamilton” opened. You’ve probably never heard of the hit play I’m about to tell you about. Don’t feel bad, hardly anyone has, and of the hundreds of thousands of smart people who read and talked about it that year, scarcely anyone seems to remember it now. Strange how that happens.

Back to the Future in the Age of Coronavirus?

 

In desperation, small business people are doing what they can to stay solvent, to stave off government-mandated ruin. One strain of these responses has been a revival of earlier car culture. The drive-in movie and the drive-in diner suddenly have an attraction again. Consider two stories from Texas: one a family restaurant turned drive-in movie theater, and the other a community theater putting on a drive-in live performance. Consider, also, the Sonic restaurant brand.

In “Ingenuity to Beat the Ban,” Aaron Miller told the story of the Butler House restaurant, in Spring, Texas, which put up a large screen television in the parking lot and serves meals, including beer or wine, car side. Modern cars are pre-equipped to support this experience, as we have lots of cup holders. Back in the 1950’s you needed a special tray attached to the side of the car window because there was nowhere to safely put down your drink. Moreover, all cars now have FM radios, so you can even have a low power FM transmission of the audio.

This last feature has been leveraged by a live theater company in Texas. I heard the owner or manager interviewed on the Mark Davis Show this past Friday, and read the Fort Worth Star-Telegram story on Cleburne, Texas:

Beating Them at Their Own Game

 

It’s not a game. It’s war. And the Democrats think they are entitled to set the rules of engagement. I have a message for Jerry Nadler. No matter what you call this obsession of torturing the Republicans through your Impeachment Hearings or Impeachment Inquiries or Impeachment Interviews, it is an affront to this country and its citizens.

The latest warrior (what else would be an appropriate label?) to take on the House Judiciary Committee was Corey Lewandowski. Now I’m not a fan of Lewandowski; he’s struck me as a hothead and his pushing a reporter (or whatever he did that led to his firing) was unwise, at the very least. But I was impressed with how he handled himself at his hearing yesterday, and essentially controlled the dialogue with the Democrats. Although others have pushed back on the committee in the past (interim Attorney General Matthew Whittaker, for one), Corey is now a private citizen and was savvy enough to know how far he could push the committee. Others who are called up before the Judiciary Committee should take notes. Here’s what I observed:

  • When they insult you—don’t be defensive. When one representative accused him of being “chicken” (a very dignified characterization) when he didn’t communicate a request from President Trump to AG Sessions, he said he’d decided that taking his kids to the beach was a higher priority. He not only pushed back, but he was making a statement about the lack of seriousness in the workings of government.
  • When they try to lecture you—about your lack of disclosure, decorum, or cooperation, interrupt by asking them to express their questions. Let them know that you’d rather not be a victim of their grandstanding and insults.
  • When they attack the President—remind them that the Mueller Report didn’t find any evidence of obstruction or collusion. They already know this truth, but it’s a valuable tactic to remind the viewing public that the hearing is a sideshow.
  • When they ask you to remember a situation described in the Mueller report from months ago—ask them to refer to the page and paragraph. This tactic will not only annoy them, but it will remind everyone that the committee is going over the same information that has already been covered, in an effort to intimidate others they may interview in the future.
  • When they question your motives—remind them that you came willingly to the hearing, and that you’ve come before them several other times. (The fact that it bolstered his image when he may be running for Senate in New Hampshire, was, well, a bonus.)

There are probably many other lessons from Corey Lewandowski’s testimony that we can glean. I believe that it’s important not just to annoy the committee or make their job more difficult, but to demonstrate to citizens that the Democrats’ actions are wasting the money of citizens, are hyper-political, and are preventing a group of Representatives (Democrats and Republicans) from doing the jobs for which they were elected: governing the country.

10/11/18: First the Zeal, Then We Heal

 

Exactly thirty years ago this week, I was living with my grandparents for a while in the Florida panhandle, not far from the area that just got pounded by Hurricane Michael. Despite having two jobs at the time, I’d taken on a challenging role with the local community theater, playing Annie Oakley, in Annie Get Your Gun. My grandmother would regularly “tut-tut” her two cents over the pace and schedule that I was keeping but I waved her off and blithely assured her that I was fine. Until that Monday halfway through the run on our one night off, when suddenly, I wasn’t.

I woke up feeling a bit woozy but I figured it would pass and went on in to work, where I lasted about 2 hours before my boss told me I looked like hell and ordered me to go home. Thank goodness for meddling grandparents because mine dragged me off the couch, packed me into the car and rushed me to their doctor who diagnosed a severe case of gastroenteritis.

“Inherit the Wind” Comes Back Home to the Bible Belt

 

Inherit the Wind, a drama by Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee, tells a highly fictionalized version of the famous Scopes Monkey Trial of 1925. In the real trial, The State of Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes, a substitute high school teacher was accused of violating Tennessee’s Butler Act, which prohibited teaching human evolution in state-funded schools. But it was not a trial of real facts – it was a phony case manufactured by the American Civil Liberties Union.

When the Butler Act passed, the ACLU lost no time peppering the state with pamphlets offering to defend anyone who violated the Act. The problem was: the Act went unenforced – and was widely understood to be a symbolic political gesture. In fact, Tennessee had another statute that required public schools to use a specific science textbook that did teach human evolution. So, if the ACLU was ever going to challenge the Act in court, they had to manufacture the facts themselves.

The organization found an ally in George Rappleyea, a businessman from the small town of Dayton, Tennessee. During a meeting of local business leaders, Rappleyea convinced the pillars of his community to sponsor the ACLU’s test case in their county. Rappleyea was against the law himself and others supported it, but the primary argument Rappleyea made to his peers was that the media circus around the trial would be great for business. The others agreed. Now they just needed a defendant.

Member Post

 

I help organize a cooperative for homeschoolers. We meet twice a month and offer varied classes for a range of ages from infant to young adults. Some of our classes are core classes, like the high school chemistry class that I’m teaching (mostly we perform experiments when we meet in the flesh, and I post […]

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Member Post

 

Saturday my husband and I saw the musical Hamilton, whose book, music and lyrics were written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, author of the Tony award-winning musical In the Heights. I’m sure when it moves to Broadway in August, the ticket prices will unfortunately rise from what they are now at the Public Theater. Our daughter’s boyfriend […]

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