DL: Okay, let’s look at a scene that isn’t historical in this same way – it’s not caught up in these questions of context at all – which maybe allows us to see these issues, and these questions of intention, from a different perspective …
[We watch Renaud & Jaffier on the bell-tower …]
DL: This is a different kind of political – you’re getting straight information, and nor is the policy dated … how do you feel about these guys? The first two scenes are about victims, and circumstances of victimization. Here you’ve got policies, advocated by two sympathetic people –
W5: Why do you think they’re sympathetic?
DL: well, they’re not moustache-twiddling. She does write everyone with an eye to their specific grievance …
JH: Also, knowing they fail lends an air of pathos – it’s more like Scarface …
DL: Also, would writing something right-wing, sympathetic to Rumsfeld, would that be more provocative?
JG: But the opposite of liberalism isn’t necessarily conservativism. As much as I might like to be in a reactionary’s head, I’m not sure that it can’t be posed in other ways. I mean, lots of plays by liberals present a savage Hobbesian view of things.
DL: Even though I’m not advocating for quantifyiable effects, but if you spread sympathy around too much, can you still advocate for change?
W6/BF: I think it would be more effective if you did spread things around and let people make up their own minds – and you open things up to other constituencies?
EK: What if you fuck up? What if you present something that’s taken the wrong way? (e.g. Fritz Lang and “M” …)
M3: But there are a lot of ways to make theatre political – if you want to make political change, you can register voters, not do theatre at all. Or we could take this down to the projects. Doing theatre is what makes a culture worth saving.
W1: Is political theatre about making the invisible visible – I mean, taking this to the projects would expose this piece in an entirely new way.
DL: [introducing Jermey Gellert’s New Musuem piece …]
M2:But what’s political about it? Why couldn’t it be two people from South Carolina?
M5: but you can react to people from SC, but you can’t really react to the Iraqis, if you’re human – you can’t.
DL: Strangely you have more of a reaction to the theatre piece because there’s more room around it.
W1: the interaction is also determined by the museum – to be you can be as active there. when you’re watching theatre – watching a character – you’re bouncing aro0und within yourself.
DL: But it doesn’t seem like anyone’s mounting a defence of anything like traditional political theatre – being in an auditorium, in the dark –
W1: but doesn’t that depend on what it is? I would think that all kinds of things can be done that could conceivably be very effective in a traditional performance context. You totally can do it.