The spectacle of mercenaries chained together, awaiting torture and death …
DL: in a retrograde, conventional way it’s a great scene – through basic stage mechanisms, you feel bad for these guys who, earlier, you knew to be killers. one of the things that theatre has going for it is that you are in the same space, that it’s an atomized experience as opposed to tv – and even negatively, the comment that nothing makes you more ready to scream than something like Impressionism on Broadway.
[the examples of Black Watch and then Blasted, the latter of which is described by Mr. Krupp …]
W8 makes the comparison between the lives and afflictions of Sarah Kane and Simone Weil …
W10: for an American audience, do they know how to do anything other than throw up or give money? is the problem more with an audience that can’t imagine any other course of action?
DL: if you’re an artist, where do you situate yourself on the spectrum of direct action?
W8: what about theatre that isn’t explicitly political? what about just art or just dance – what’s the problem with regard to theatre?
DL: when people say political theatre or political art – is it anything more than a marketing ploy?
W1: also, giving money or puking – it’s an ejaculatory vision of response, it seems really limited
MJ: yes, there’s a whole range of reactions that are intensely human that we should allow for – the act of compassion at the end of Blasted, for example
W10: there’s a category of response that’s also not about you or your feelings, but about whether the kid in Bosnia might be able to pull himself together – that the object of your attention is still there, despite your reaction
M1: certainly it can all be an excuse
MJ: or that you tell yourself that merely feeling something is the equivalent of a political act …