Levine: If you want to make political theatre, you’ve already got a situation of deep inequity right in front of you onstage … if you’re saying you don’t want to go to theatre to see sympathy, then what do you want instead?
Maybe something uptopian – I’d like to see an offer, something proposed. Political theatre for me is a forum for testing new ideas, to see how people can live together …
Levine: Jeremy Dellert @ New Museum, would that fit more – but it’s not theatre? Is theatre predicated on your not participating?
There’s something interesting about these people being curated for you … but also aren’t the Civilians curating the people they present?
But theatre is a forum for changing people’s thinking.
And sometimes people go to have their feelings confirmed, not changed.
Part of it also who has what at stake in this project? The iraqis aren’t in the same state of relative freedom.
But I don’t think the whole theatre thing doesn’t work – the whole project of empathy doesn’t convince me, I can’t forget the contrivance.
But also, the New Museum and the theatre are totally different events – the NM generates a situation requiring your action in a different way. I don’t think you can compare them, because of the structure – the same difference between this event and actually staging Venice Saved.
Levine: but 9 out of 10 plays present you with the dilemma of wanting to leave, but not leaving … which wouldn’t seem the best way to activate citizenship. Are you really passive in the theatre? If you’re in a theatre audience, are you giving up your ability to intervene.
But so often there’s an underestimation of the mind’s activity during a performance – there’s the capacity for tremendous thought and activity.
But beyond scenes and plays, there are also companies.