By N. Pressley
Two decades after Tony Kushner's influential Angels in the United States looked as if it would claim a revitalized efficiency for the preferred political play, there's a "No Politics" prejudice undermining US creation and writing. This ebook explores the mostly unrecognized cultural styles that discourage political playwriting at the modern American degree.
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Additional resources for American Playwriting and the Anti-Political Prejudice: Twentieth- and Twenty-First-Century Perspectives
Even the term minority is scrutinized and found poisonous . . Spinning Into Butter is less a movie than an essay . . The characters’ inner selves rarely peek out from under the heavy political baggage weighing them down” (Holden). The bias for psychological realism over politics and ideology in artistic representation, consistently invoked in drama criticism, is almost ritualistically asserted. The claim that one approach should have primacy 42 American Playwriting and the Anti-Political Prejudice over the other is assumed, not explained, an “it goes without saying” presumption that conforms to and reinforces the habitus.
The play opens on a pair of babushkas sweeping the falling snow off the steps of the Kremlin, and, like the run-down peasants casually bantering in high terms about philosophy and literature in in Woody Allen’s Love and Death, talking political theory: FIRST BABUSHKA. A vanguard-driven revolution as the only alternative to Reaction. For the People make their own history. SECOND BABUSHKA. Limits are set by the conditions of their social developments. FIRST BABUSHKA. But those conditions are themselves affected by the state of their economic relations.
Bourdieu 172) “Necessity,” “difference,” and “classifying practices” are the concepts that speak most directly to the dynamic that, in practical terms, constitutes an anti-political prejudice toward American playwrights. Across a range of positions, critics posit a “necessity” against politics on the stage (vulgar, inherently improper), though they often do not support or explain the prejudice. The practice is to invoke a norm dismissing politically oriented work as better suited to lecture halls, or as insufficiently psychologically constituted for the proper purposes of the stage.
American Playwriting and the Anti-Political Prejudice: Twentieth- and Twenty-First-Century Perspectives by N. Pressley