by G.L. Horton
G.L. Horton's newest essays are now being posted on her stageblog.
Threats Stop Play
Ratna got death threats for "insulting" her religion
and leaders. When she couldn't continue to risk the lives of her
fellow actors, she did a one woman play and put her own life on
the line. If an artist believes her work is true and that she
has a sacred duty to bear witness to that truth, isn't that something
worth risking death to accomplish?...
Casting Roils 'Big River'
For me, the question is "Does the audience have an understanding
of theatre as metaphor/convention?" In the classic psychological
experiment, classes are divided into "blue eyes" and
"green eyes"-- not based on actual eye color, but by
random assignment of a colored scarf. After a few days of authority-sanctioned
oppression of greens by blues, the subjects swap scarves. Victims
quickly learn to be oppressors of their last-week superiors. Instructors
Casting of Huck/Jim
MD asks: "Would Fiddler on the Roof work if we
made everyone Catholic? Or Buddhist?" GLH replies:
The school isn't making Jim a white character or Huck an African-American
-- it has a large white teenage actor playing grown up Jim, a
Negro slave; and a smaller, light brown teenager playing 12 year
old Huck -- in a story that clearly depicts the color line and
the immorality enforced by it.
Political Theatre for Educational & Fundraising Purposes
MP wrote: "The Producer in me thinks that [Under
Seige aka Choices] could be underwritten through Planned Parenthood
and used as an educational and fundraising piece of theatre..."
GLH replies: Anyone who thinks this would have my wholehearted
and openpocketbooked support...
BST wrote concerning Ophelia: "Do you see a market
- a valid market for this kind of social theatre - and, as a performer,
the desire or need to participate in it?" GLH replies:
[No.] OTOH, I DO admire and have been moved by Documentary pieces
that use interviews and public records to arrive at an understanding
of some event: Copenhagen, Fires in the Mirror, Bloody Sunday,
Living Justice, The Exonorated...
to Choose Under Seige
AW wrote: "Last night at auditions ... I was startled
and delighted to hear two monologies from Under
Siege. The first student found the monolog online, then was
amazed to discover the Geralyn Horton Collection as part of the
ICWP Archives--across the street from her acting class! So she
read the whole play, shared it with her classmates. Yes!!!"
GLH replies: I'm doing a little dance of happiness around
my study after hearing this! ... It is my dearest wish that one--
or more-- of these young people will get together and do a production.
Woman's most basic claim to self-government, control of her own
body, is indeed "Under
Siege", right now ... I want to stand up in a crowded
college theatre and shout "Fire! Your freedom is smoldering,
the fuse is lit....."
Albee ... is ready to tackle controversial subjects -- aren't
his scripts almost all controversial? ... 3rd world playwrights
have risked and lost their lives to say what they feel needs saying--
but no writer dies or goes to jail here; their political work
simply doesn't get produced...
Richard Greenberg says: "You do see American theater
that by default... promotes conservative thinking. But activist
to the right? Theater doesn't seem to be the medium for that."
GLH replies: Greenberg thinks there is no activist
conservative theatre because [his definition of theatre] omits
popular productions such as Evangelical and African American morality
plays, which are produced and performed below the radar...
See also other G.L. Horton essays on . . . actors
& acting . . . criticism . . .
literature . . . miscellaneous
. . . modern plays . . .
political commentary . . . Shakespeare
. . . women's issues . . .
writing & directing & producing