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September 04, 2013


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Mark Rud

Your suppositions about the GOP being unanimously homophobic AND theatre's inseparability from the LGBT community (as if the trans. population is embraced/well represented - it isn't) are generalizing shots from the hip, EXACTLY of the sort that propogate misunderstandings Mr. Jones' piece is in part attempting to counter. Have you really never heard of Log Cabin Republicans? Would a play about conservatives in support of difference really be a travesty of agitprop theatre? THAT's the kind of question that is never asked when blanket statements about "conservatives" stifle dialogue and potential for creation.

Sidebar: calling Rebeck a conservative on issues of gender is a pretty gross misrepresentation of the woman and her work: http://womenandhollywood.com/2010/03/16/text-of-theresa-rebeck-laura-pels-keynote-address/

Moreover, isn't all Cathartic story-based theatre inherently conservative, as it does nothing to upset the status quo?


I think in your fury you're misapprehending what I 'm saying, but I'll restrict my response to one point: Teresa Rebeck's PLAYS are intensely conservative w/r/t gender. In fact, The Scene is one of the most sexist contemporary plays I've seen not written by David Mamet. The author and the work are not the same. Something Clauda La Rocco talks about here w/r/t SEMINAR:

I very much admire Rebeck's work in trying to address gender inequality in theater. her plays I am less admiring of, particularly when it comes to treatment of women characters.

Mark Rud

Maybe she's simply trying to represent the world she sees around her onstage. Maybe her plays treat women poorly because women are still treated poorly by the world and have stunted social expectations.

If Rebeck is a feminist (I believe she is), why does she HAVE to write feminist plays, or plays with "strong female characters" (which are not the same as characters with agency)? Isn't that mandate itself misogynist - the only plays expected by women, from dominantly masculine producing-administrative echelons, should have blatant feminist overtones? Why can't women just tell stories?


There's no point in having a further conversation if you're going to keep putting words in my mouth. I never said that all Republicans are homophobic. I never said that Rebeck had to write explicitly feminist plays and I never said that all plays with a conservative viewpoint would necessarily be travesties of agit prop theater.

Mark Rud

"The Republican Party's official platform supports institutionalized homophobia." -You


This is just getting silly now. Describing the platform and positions of the Republican Party is not the same as describing the positions of individual Republicans.

As for the statement about institutionalized homophobia, that's just a factually accurate description. The Republican Party's official platform has the following language in it: "We believe that marriage, the union of one man and one woman must be upheld as the national standard, a goal to stand for, encourage, and promote through laws governing marriage" and says that states shouldn't recognize gay marriages from other states. That's all about using legal regimes to deny gay people equal rights aka institutionalized homophobia.

Joshua James

I'd note that David Mamet is pretty much a self-described Conservative / Libertarian ... he's close to the crazy-town side of things, but he's definitely that...

And that there are lots of conservative theatre, as you noted in the updates, especially with regard to passion plays around the country... could it be that the author of the article was simply describing NY / Broadway? I don't know, I didn't go to the link to read it because just from the outset, his premise is ill thought and clearly ridiculous ...

Lastly, yeah... the Republican party is clearly and unabashedly homophobic ... you certainly have outliers (Dick Cheney) but the party's policy is reflected even in his daughter Liz's stance against gay marriage ...

The GOP is clearly homophobic in that they don't want gays to have the same rights that straights do...

To argue otherwise is to ignore reality...


This whole issue strikes me as a version of "Me, too"-ism. Conservatives just want in on what they perceive as a liberal monopoly, in order to smash up the elitist leftist tea-party they imagine theater to be, not because there is necessarily a growing throng of far-right Republican theatergoers who worry about the future of the art form. I find that whenever the Right talks about the arts, it is always a political discussion, and never an aesthetic one. Jessie Helms wanted to defund the NEA because Robert Mapplethorpe's homoerotic photography was a juicy target in his continuing culture war against the left, not because he felt the grant should have gone to Nan Goldin instead. Conservatives never seem to give a damn about the arts unless it can be used as a tool to increase their visibility, and give them a few easy jabs at a straw man.

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