Monday, June 02, 2008

How Theatre Failed America

The Times, the "Internets", the Mermaids on skates: Mike Daisey makes it known right at the top of his brilliant, energizing ninety-minute monologue that he's not interested in these usual superficial complaints about what's wrong with theatre today. His targets are more systemic: theatre in America is broken, and the reasons are more cultural than economic. He puts over his lively state of the art address in the manner of a trusted truth-telling friend, using personal recollections and experiences to ease in and out of his (ultimately sobering) grand statements. The success of the piece is that it is capable of being strong and provocative without being assaultive, informed and informative without being the least bit dry. Its genius is that it has been carefully crafted to empower the audience and to covertly rally us into action; for theatre lovers, this is not to be missed.

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