By David A. Schlossman
This scholarly paintings appears on the factor of politics and function in the US this day with specific cognizance paid to performances produced via activists, the NEA 4, and "Miss Saigon".
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Extra resources for Actors and Activists: Performance, Politics, and Exchange Among Social Worlds
Rather than attempt a static definition, one may more readily identify the contemporary progressive Left with the causes its activists espouse, which include: economic justice, particularly for people of color; opposition to US interventions in Third World affairs; women's rights; gay, lesbian, and transgender rights; opposition to the growing power of corporations; protection of the environment; and opposition to police brutality (note, however, that not all activists claiming the mantle of the progressive Left adhere to all the causes listed, a fact that is a source of tension and debate within activist worlds).
This statement is not part of a scholarly article, a journalist's commentary, or a theatrical manifesto; it is a finding in Justice Hugo L. Black's opinion for the Supreme Court in the case Schacht v. United States. In this case, the Court unanimously supported a political activist's claim to the privileges usually associated with professional performers and declared unconstitutional a statute prohibiting any actor wearing a military uniform as costume from discrediting the US Armed Forces. l O n December 4, 1967, a group of protesters staged a vignette in front of an armed forces induction center in Houston, Texas, as part of a demonstration opposing the war in Vietnam.
As Sandra L. Richards notes of the issue of how playwrights measure the success of their political performances, "that's a question that plagues political theatre" (Kinzer et al. As Richards's comment suggests, a good question regarding an individual work becomes a burden when it entwines and gnarls an entire discourse. Typical questions that crop up in discussions of politics and performance include: Can a performance affect society? Can a play change people's minds, and even if it can, will it move an audience to action?
Actors and Activists: Performance, Politics, and Exchange Among Social Worlds by David A. Schlossman