Collateral damage in the war with the Boogieman gang that attacked Mike that night goes beyond just the branding of the Norco kids as the Christian Crazies. We are also instructing other teenagers, including the 22 kids who remained in the audience that night (referred by ART as the other high school group), that theatre is a battle between Us and Them. “Us” signified as elite high school kids from a private school “studying” theatre as part of their senior seminar. “Them” are public school kids on a bus tour from Anytown, USA looking for a night of suitable entertainment.
Once again, the intelligentsia ends up bashing the religious and the lower class. For instance, over at Histriomastix, David Cote refers, in a post tagged "Goddites," to those who walked out as "a bunch of church-infantilized fools who can’t deal with Daisey’s salty language and lefty attitudes." This kind of classist, intolerant language reflects the us vs them, private vs public, educated vs less educated attitudes that permeate the American arts scene. When I look at European theatre, where many, many artists identify with and support the working class audience, and create art for that class, I despair about the American artists who mainly want to play to the upper 15% of the economic continuum -- although they will tolerate others as long as they share the college-educated secularism of that class of people. Until American artists make an effort to reach out to this audience, instead of expecting them to reach out to you (the Rilkean cry "You must change your life" is a motto, and one that is unidirectional), there will be less and less state funding, less and less public support, and smaller and smaller audiences.