Thursday, October 04, 2012

Comment of the Week

Here are this week's contenders:

Comment #1: a new comment on your post "Kids at Burning Man: Good or Bad Idea?":
I have a couple friends who are part of "Burn families", and I also know a couple of people who grew up living in hippie festival culture because their parents worked there. From the people I know it can be both a good and bad thing. I know people who have been pretty emotionally scared from being exposed to things too early and people who love burning man now that they are in their twenty's and have grown up with the culture of burning man as their predominate culture. One girl I know dresses like she is going to burning man all the time wearing hair extensions and tie die pants everyday. I think it's just the hippie in me but I really believe that letting your kids grow up in a culture that is so free is pretty amazing. And bad stuff happens, but it also happens to kids who aren't attending burning man. Kids can flip on the tv or go to the wrong website and they will be inundated with sex and drugs. The world is a dangerous adult place and now that we have such easy access to view it anyone really can get their hands on it. I think that burning man should not have limits and it really saddens me that they are enforcing more PC rules. Although I doubt they are really that rigorous, I mean come on, it's burning man. Lastly, I leave you with this, it my favorite depiction of burning man, and really quite childish as I think about it:

Comment #2: a new comment on your post "Not to be passed by":
This article attempts to draw a connection between color-blind casting and plays that treat alternate sexual lifestyles as normal. To my understanding, these are two completely separate issues.
I do not believe in color-blind casting that disrupts that production, like the production of King Lear that Mr. Shenton describes at the beginning of this piece. How could only 1 of the daughters be a different race? How could they possibly be related? That kind of casting doesn't present a person of color "without comment or surprise" as this article suggests. Rather, it makes the audience question if that daughter is adopter or conceived out of wedlock.
Alternately, a production where the entire family was cast with people of color, where the focus of the production stayed away from issues surrounding people of color, would make progress. In that scenario, the person(s) of color really are being introduced "without comment or surprise." That is making progress. Disrupting the suspension of disbelief that the actors on stage are actually related to include a person of color in the cast is the exact type of "special pleading" Mr. Shenton speaks negatively about.

Comment #3: a new comment on your post "'Trek' star's own history inspires new musical":
I think this play is a wonderful idea. I'm a big history buff and I'm very interested in American history as well as genocide studies. Americans don't usually talk about our own wrongdoings, such as the Japanese Internment Camps, or the Native American genocides, or the mistreatments of the Irish, Italians, Jews, etc. I'm happy to hear that a play about social justice is coming to light. I think it's about time theatre welcomes more historical pieces that would open people's eyes. Art itself is one of the most powerful things in the world, because it can shape a person's mind and encourage that person to action. I believe if there are more historical pieces, the world would be more educated and aware of its surroundings. I doubt many think about the genocides in the Democratic Republic of the Congo or the Invisible Children. Theatre has the opportunity to bring these events into the light and hopefully help change the world. I applaud George Takei and Jay Kuo for their work. I looked up pictures of the production, and the set looks quite interesting with its projections. I'm hoping this does make it to Broadway, because I would love to have as many people as possible see the production

Comment #4: a new comment on your post "British producer faces 2 years in prison for play ...":
I commented on another article about this last week, but this one brings new facts to light. Every country has their own laws and beliefs and they are clearly written and known. I assume that the extent of attention that the play and the producer are getting now was the main intention of producing the play in the first place. I think that this was done to draw attention to the lack or non existent gay rights in Uganda with an intention on creating/ starting a change or at least pulling the curtain from over the Government's less mentioned laws to the rest of the world.
Also do not believe that they thought the Media Council stating that they should not stage the play in any public theater in Uganda meant that they could do in private in a bar via invitations. This was a situation where all parties involved knew the consequences and decided to push forward no matter what.
While I do commend his attempts, like I said last week, I hope that he is prepared for what is to come. I also hope that while on bail that he protects himself, because there are many locals who would not agree with the play, or his cause or take likely to the further negativity which is thrown onto Uganda!
However, this is probably .10% of the steps that will be needed to create a change in that law, which should not be implemented!!

Comment #5: a new comment on your post "Cultural Exchange: Budapest's New Theater is at ce...":
"A degenerate, sickly liberal hegemony." That's my new email signature for sure! "Coming to you live, from a degenerate, sickly liberal hegemony near you!" But seriously, the lesson here, in my totally unsolicited and unprofessional opinion, is not that a theatre proposed to stage a controversial play, but that they did it for the wrong reasons. Personally I think nothing should be off the table when it comes to art, and just because you choose to put on a play that may be construed to be or may even overtly be ignorant or ugly or downright messed up, doesn't mean you are those things too. There may be very good reasons for a group to look honestly into their past and re-envision some of the ugliness their culture has produced. It's a whole lot better than imagining the ugliness never existed. It seems to me that as long as the staging is neutral and exploratory in nature, not hegemenous like the kind decried by Mr. Dorner, then it should be an avenue for people to understand and learn from their own history. As long as there's honest, open dialogue available and no one is getting it shoved down their throats, it's still a way for us to express our ambivalence about ourselves and our place in time, and what isn't art about that?
Voting closes at noon Friday.

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