Let's take out the rag and dust off this blog. One of my goals this year was to start writing in this blog more often. One of the reasons I haven't succeeded is because I haven't cared much for my thoughts. Ever have that problem? Yeah? So you can sympathize.
I've grown concerned recently more theater blogs are dedicating themselves to telling people what to write. They are putting it in the guise of social justice, but it seems to be more about authoritarianism. Look, I live in Alabama. I have to deal with social justice matters on a daily basis because of where I live. I don't think these blogs are helping the cause. Instead, they are telling people how to produce propaganda. Art will touch people, but your audience will see straight through propaganda. (And no, I'm not going to call people. Just poke around. You'll see them.)
If I had a magic wand, I would make American theater focus on the cultural divide that plagues the country. I think it would require people to actually develop a tolerance toward others who didn't think the same way they do. In this environment, it isn't going to happen. Guess what? Intolerance isn't a measurement of how strongly you believe in your perspective. Intolerance only measures how much of a jackass you are. (And no, this doesn't mean you have to tolerate racism, sexism, homophobia and whatnot. But rather than beating someone over the head, I've found that it actually helps to engage them in a discussion. Judgment only makes people dig their heels in deeper. After all, is your intention social change or proving your awesomeness?)
People make a whole lot of assumptions about others. That's human nature, I suppose. But it is always a curious thing in theater. I guess I assume theater people are somehow different. More ethical, aware... I don't know. I need to quit putting people on pedestals. It seriously bums me out. I've often felt like I couldn't be myself in theater. Now, you are going to assume that's due to politics, right? It isn't. I'm actually a liberal so I fit right in. I guess the thing that bothers me is that I've never felt like I could bring myself fully into that community. Invalidation, both subtle and overt, float in most discussions. Plus, I do get tired of people "patiently explaining" obvious things as if I am a 5-year old. Can I disagree with you without being treated like a child? Or is that your way of being intellectually superior and awesome? Yeah, I thought so.
One of the things I love about the publishing world is that I can claim my experience and perspective. I've also found people to be supportive, inspiring and positive. They aren't constantly complaining about the world or their role in it. Speaking of roles, one of the other things I also like is that anyone can publish. People from all walks of life can connect directly with other people through their art. The indie publishing world is diverse. Men and women can write whatever they want, however they want. No one is checking resumes, weeding out the "undesirables." I love that. I wonder what theater would look like if it was more like indie publishing.I have a great interview on The Clyde Fitch Report tomorrow. But while you are waiting, poke around the site. Others have posted some fantastic stuff.