Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 05/06/2019
I’ve been attending the theater since I was 17 and received a free ticket from a teacher who believed I needed some culture! I’ve always thought the theater had clear roles: escapism (Little Shop of Horrors); and social and political introspection (Angels in America). I was privileged to serve on the board for several years when Oskar Eustis was the artistic director of Trinity Rep (he’s now a multiple Tony Award winner at The Public in New York and a leading voice in American Theater).
Lately, Oskar has been preaching in media interviews that theater is for everyone, “red state” people as well as “blue state” people, and its message has skewed too far to the left. He sees theater as an introspective experience for the audience, and not as a propaganda instrument for any one point of view.
Like you, I’m an intelligent, discerning adult. I’m happy to consider views that oppose my own and that challenge my worldview. But I’m not happy when I’m considered an inferior unless I conform with and support the “superior” moral message being conveyed. By all means, provoke me. But stop lecturing me.
Doing so brings back memories of all those ossified college professors who felt they held my fate in their hands and who couldn’t be questioned themselves. Well, guess how that turned out….
The theatre is a spiritual and social X-ray of its time. — Stella Adler
I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being. — Thornton Wilder