Tags: Braak, christopher durang, theater, theatre, vanya and sonia and masha and spike
Christopher Durang – America’s most beloved author of community theater audition monologues – has a new play called Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. In 2013 it won the Tony Award for Outstanding New Play. It won the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Production, the Drama League Award for Best Production of a Play, the Drama Desk Award for Best Play, the Outer Circle Critics Award for Best Play and the Off-Broadway Alliance Award for Best Play. Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike prominently features a Magical Negro housekeeper who has the power of Voodoo.
If, after reading that, you think to yourself, “That’s enough. This is the 21st century and I have no interest in racial caricatures of any kind. Nothing in this play could possibly make up for this conspicuous, shameful, and easily avoidable failure; I am happy to condemn this play to company with the rest of the detritus of civilization left behind as humanity continues on its long moral arc, without hearing another word about it,” well, then, I agree with you. You can ignore this play for the rest of your life, and not be one degree the worse for it; go forth, and be not bothered by Christopher Durang.
In criticism, though, as in life, it is important to be thorough.
Tags: #CancelColbert, Satire, television
The recent events relating to Stephen Colbert and his jokes about Dan Snyder’s attempts to obviate the fact that his football team’s name is a racial slur with a kind of pathetic attempt at cultural bribery — lots of recent events, responses, and counter responses — have got me thinking about this. I follow a lot of people who have a lot to say about, “guys, it’s just satire, calm down,” but also a lot of people who are really clearly visibly upset by this.
It makes me wonder; personally, I’ve got no horse in this fight. I don’t even watch the Colbert Report. But I’m interested when I see a lot of people whose opinions I respect taking contrary positions on the same issue, because it makes me wonder how whatever the true thing is, it can be so vastly different for different people.
Anyway, I’ve been meaning to write some things about satire, so I guess I will.
Behold! Here is a new thing!
Cities on the Red Frontier is the name for a series of interlocking sci-fi/western epics set on Mars in the 27th century. This is the background material for these stories, which I am probably never going to get around to. I wrote the screenplay for the first one, Guns of Cydonia, but Bruno Heller has since announced that he’s making his OWN sci-fi-western-on-Mars, so the heck with it.
I am putting the screenplay up here and all the background material that I thought of, and giving it to you, the world. Read it, steal it, add to it, take from it, do whatever the hell you want.
The script is available at the Cities on the Red Frontier Site.
Happy birthday, everyone!