Saturday, February 27, 2010

The New Wave of Gay Theater // A Wider Lens, A More Subtle Politik

The New York Times' Patrick Healy reports on a new wave of Gay theater which is "replacing the political messages of 1990s shows with more personal appeals for social progress." Moreover, Healy's article raises important questions and offers some timely insights about how the larger relationship between theology, art and politics transforms and shifts as oppressed demographics begin to obtain greater social power.

As such, the article contains salient notions that are of concern not only for LGBT persons and their continuing fight for equality, but also for those inquiring into the history of liberating movements which have come before (and which also continue) - including Women's Rights and Civil Rights.

Full Article Here // Excerpt Below

A new breed of plays and musicals this season is presenting gay characters in love stories, replacing the direct political messages of 1980s and ‘90s shows like “The Normal Heart” and “Angels in America” with more personal appeals for social progress.

These productions about gay life make little or no mention of H.I.V. or AIDS and keep direct activism at arm’s length, with militant crusading portrayed with ambivalence more than ardor. The politics of these shows — there are seven of them opening in New York in the next several weeks — are subtler, more nuanced: they place the everyday concerns of Americans in a gay context, thereby pressing the case that gay love and gay marriage, gay parenthood and gay adoption are no different from their straight variations.

While persecution remains a reality for most of these gay characters, just as it does in many movies and television shows featuring gay love stories, the widening acceptance of AIDS as a pandemic rather than a gay disease — and the broadening debate on gay marriage and gay soldiers — have led, and have to some extent freed, writers and producers to use a wider lens to explore a broader landscape.

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