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The ITT List

Monday, Oct 13, 2008, 4:48 pm

Monday Night Links: American Playwrights In Absentia Edition

By Jarrett Dapier

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-The Guardian's Matt Wolf reports on the lack of anything relevant, daring, politically engaged, caustic, cutting, or provocative on Broadway right now (of all times). Yeah, All My Sons is one of my favorite plays, and I'm sure Katie Holmes is serviceable in her part, but I have to agree with the man: Where are the American Theatre's bold, fearless, politically attuned playwrights?

-One small central Illinois theatre - run entirely by an exciting, talented core of volunteer theatre artists - knows the answer to the above question.

-Then again, some spine can be found off-Broadway in this and this. (Note one is a show by the Scottish Gregory Burke, the other is by the late Brit, Sarah Kane, and is arriving only now - thirteen years after it made its shocking debut in London and was subsequently performed around the world).

-In other news of the politically and socially disengaged, the Contra Costa Times asks "Where Have All The Protest Singers Gone?"

-Meanwhile, Hollywood, it seems, is wrestling with the big issues. Whether or not they're successful, I don't know, but at least they're trying.

Other news:

-Sarah Palin IS a George Saunders character. (Transcripts of her interviews and speeches remind me of the painfully inarticulate protagonist of Saunders's beautiful love story, "Jon." Difference is, Jon comes around to humanity in his story. Jury's still out on Palin).

-Have you heard about "Dog Whistle Racism?" This site is tracking it.

-Hedges on fascism, the right-wing backlash to the economic crisis, and John McCain's rallies.

-The Archbishop of Canterbury is the perfect Dostoevskian scholar. Or is he the perfect Archbishop because he understands Dostoevsky so deeply?


Jarrett Dapier is a former assistant publisher at In These Times. Previous work for ITT includes interviews with playwright Christopher Shinn and Fugazi guitarist, Ian Mackaye. He currently works with teens at the Evanston Public Library where he runs a recycled drumming program and directs stage adaptations of young adult literature. He lives in Evanston, IL.

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