Men of Power

Political Theatre is a loaded term, but if there’s some aspect that it can bring to focus is to put light on what is normally so shrouded in politics itself.

Do you want Donald Rumsfeld humanized?

Theatre can make him seem less a freak of nature, but one in a line of politicians endowed with power who have executed it without humility (or intelligence).  For me the first Courtesan scene is more relevant, because I make the contemporary connections for myself.

But does seeing it in that long view make it feel defeatist?

Look at something like Frost/Nixon, doesn’t the impulse to humanize Nixon undedrmine the political effect?  Does the same thing happen with a play like Stuff Happens, where we see contemporary politicians, who are still alive and in office.  Does this dramatization fictionalize them in a way that distances them from their historical roles?

What was the political impulse behind that play?  The tragedy of Colin Powell – but is it only that?  Is it a political story because it takes place in a political realm?

Is it political if it caters to people who already share those beliefs?
When the choir gets together it can preach pretty darn well … Durang on the popularity of his own plays in high schools and college, that the dissemination of his beliefs through that population.


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