Showing posts from October 17, 2010

A Lecture on Tony Kushner

[Cross-posted at the TACT blog.] This is a lecture I will be delivering in one of my classes today I’ve gotten to thinking lately about this class.To me, our discussions seem sort of superficial -- like we’re not really engaged in any decent way with the material.And I think it’s my fault: Somehow, the questions I am asking, or the attitude I am bringing to class, is not asking you to dig in and find the really interesting stuff.

This bothers me because I have a very strong sense of what plays are for:that we, as human beings, create stories not simply to “kill time,” but as a way of making our ideas about life more easily remembered.So while we can laugh and joke about, say, Phaedra’s mother having sex with the bull, the underlying message is about uncontrolled passion. It is trying to explain how people seem to “lose their mind” when they are suddenly obsessed with a person or an idea. 
Playwrights only write plays about things that are on the minds of the audience.If nobody was struggl…