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Oct 30, 2023Liked by Clifton Duncan

I used to see plays regularly, though I never subscribed to my local theater company. But I stopped when they stopped producing things I wanted to see.

One of the last productions I saw that I enjoyed was "A Man For All Seasons." I didn't want to go, because I hated the Hollywood movie. I was shocked at how good it was in the original.

Live theater, when done right is amazing. It isn't done right.

A friend who did subscribe to one of the local theater companies stopped more than 10 years ago. She got tired of going to shows where she was lectured about how awful she was for the color of her skin. Well, and she got too old to drive into the insanity of downtown.

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Lectures belong in a classroom, not on stage.

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Oct 30, 2023Liked by Clifton Duncan

James Joyce called any work of art that wanted to induce a certain action or reaction in the audience pornography. If you are trying to lecture the audience, then you are not producing art.

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Oct 30, 2023Liked by Clifton Duncan

"Overall this creates an atmosphere in which discourse can only occur within very strict parameters."

And that is the death knell of any creative endeavor. Art needs freedom in order to prosper.

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You'd think artists would understand that but the concept of "freedom", especially over the last 3 years, has become a "right wing talking point," and anything vaguely right-wing has cooties

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Phenomenal essay, Clifton. I am sharing this with my theater colleagues. Hopefully they will be open-minded enough to not take offense at the truth.

In spite of the gloomy prospects for the American theater, as you accurately diagnose, I'm also interested in positive opportunities. You note that many forms of live entertainment are thriving. What is enabling them to succeed, creatively and financially? What can we learn from WWE, Taylor Swift, live sports, etc.? Can the theater industry - and other arts industries - follow suit, or has the ship sailed?

There are still small pockets in the theater where creative freedom is flourishing. The community theater with which I've been music directing since 2022 very much embraces creativity, play, freedom, humor, and excellence in how we conduct our work. The problem, I think, is that the big players – those who have money and influence at the highest levels – do not.

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What we can learn from live sports - even fake sports such as WWE - and music - is to ENGAGE people emotionally - LECTURES are never engaging - unless, you are going to an actual LECTURE - that's something that you and the speaker have an implied agreement upon. Theatre, TV, and Film - since 2016 is my diagnosis - have all become these preening and pretentious moral lectures that are hysterical. And 180 degrees opposite of what they claim. Ex. The Handmade's Tale was posited as a dramatic commentary on the perils of someone like Trump - but, in actuality - it has been Biden and the technocratic fascist Democrats (FAUCI) who are the true totalitarians.

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Clifton’s move towards Indy Theatre was the focus of my recent podcast Brent! I mentioned FAIR several times.

https://x.com/jennyhatch1968/status/1757585140824396149?s=46

Cheers!

Jenny Hatch

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Oct 31, 2023Liked by Clifton Duncan

what about WE SEE YOU WHITE AMERICAN THEATER? Does that come into play here?

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I linked it in the piece. It almost deserves its own essay, there is so much to say about it, and about the response it provoked.

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Thank you for teaching me “peripeteia,” Clifton. Is there a reverse version of that term? Inquiring Apocaloptimists (https://margaretannaalice.substack.com/p/letter-to-a-mainstream-straddler#%C2%A7apocaloptimism) would like to know.

Have you read Camus’s “The Artist as Witness of Freedom: The Independent Mind in an Age of Ideologies”? I happened to read it during my interview with CJ, and these selections seem especially relevant to your interrogations of the theatre in this series (https://margaretannaalice.substack.com/i/52392876/q-and-a):

“The unfortunate thing is that we are in the age of ideologies and of ideologies which are totalitarian—that is, which are sufficiently sure of themselves, of their imbecilic reason or of their shortlived truth, to see the world’s salvation in their own domination.”

“When one wants to unify the whole world in the name of an ideology, there is no other way but to make this world as fleshless, as blind, and as deaf as the ideology itself.”

“But with the intervention of ideologies of efficiency based on technology, the revolutionary by a subtle transformation has become a conqueror, and the two currents of thought have diverged. What the conqueror of the Right or Left seeks is not unity—which is above all the harmony of opposites—but totality, which is the stamping out of differences.” (https://www.commentary.org/articles/commentary-bk/the-artist-as-witness-of-freedomthe-independent-mind-in-an-age-of-ideologies/)

Also, let me know if you’ve made a decision about reading “Letter to a Tyrant” (https://margaretannaalice.substack.com/p/letter-to-a-tyrant). No pressure. I just realized I should probably get back to the reader who offered to pay for the voiceover since he first contacted me in March :-) He was originally envisioning a woman, but I told him you would be my top choice if you are available.

Would you be interested in a larger voiceover project? Mammoth, really? I told Feargus O’Connor Greenwood, author of “180 Degrees: Unlearn The Lies You've Been Taught To Believe,” he needs an audiobook of his tome. He is prioritizing his next book, but he said he’d reconsider if I could get ahold of Denzel Washington 😉

I suggested you to him, saying, “I may know someone even better than Denzel Washington to read the male part :-) He is just as talented but has achieved maximum integrity points by refusing to comply with COVID tyranny, which cost him his highly successful acting career.” (https://unbekoming.substack.com/p/exclusive-interview-with-feargus/comment/41830757)

I would be happy to connect you if you’re interested. Even if the audiobook doesn’t work out, he would make a great guest for your podcast.

If you’re interested, just sign up for my mailing list and I can keep an eye out and follow up with an email introduction to Feargus. I’d be honored to comp you a subscription if you do. (Or get my email from CJ if you don’t want to do that.)

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Hi Margaret, thanks for sharing the quotes; I agree with the observations about ideologies.

I've been a bit scatter-brained until very recently, I'll give the letter a read since I missed it the first time.

And I'm always down to do a (good) audiobook 🙂

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Haha, sounds good and delighted to hear you may be game for one or more projects!

Everyone I know who’s read “180 Degrees” says it is a mind-exploding must-read (you can get a sense of it from Feargus’s interview: https://unbekoming.substack.com/p/exclusive-interview-with-feargus). I haven’t read it yet and will probably need to wait for the audiobook so I can multitask while listening, hence my nudging of Feargus ;-) The book is massive, but you would only need to read 50% and a woman would read the other half.

Also, I’m not sure if you ever saw Tess Lawrie’s reading of my poem “Mistakes Were NOT Made: An Anthem for Justice” (https://margaretannaalice.substack.com/p/mistakes-were-not-made-an-anthem-57a), but I will be releasing the next entry in that series by another courageous hero soon and gladly invite you to do a reading, too, if it resonates with you. The poem is only 333 words, and the message is striking a particularly deep chord given the transition to the “Mistakes Were Made” phase I wrote it in anticipation of:

• “Mistakes Were NOT Made: An Anthem for Justice” (https://margaretannaalice.substack.com/p/mistakes-were-not-made-an-anthem)

I’ll keep an eye out for your signup if you want to reach me that way. I could also put my email in a comment and then delete it—just didn’t want it floating out there. LMK if you want me to do that.

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This is an important article! There is hope, though! There is a thetare company in Ohio called Stage Right Theatrics (stagert.org). Its mission is to promote "conservative," traditional theatre and some thing it calls The Natural Theatre. I personally love this group but I may be biased--it's my company! Please check out my website! Right now I am one of a kind!

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Nov 1, 2023·edited Nov 1, 2023

The entertainment/theatre world is a microcosm of Liberal White society in the U.S. We all know what Malcolm X (rightfully) thought of the white Liberal - that they were the great enemy of equality AND progress. Today, that toxic influence has run amok - with political correctness that acts as a steel-toed boot on any dissenting voice's NECK.

I wrote theatre in NYC, Miami and LA, TV and Film - and since 2016- I've been watching the slow-motion car wrecks of TV, Film,Theatre. 98% of what's been produced will be completely forgotten.

Go Woke - Go Broke - is the fitting mantra for what has happened in theatre ( and most of film and TV). It's a self-inflicted series of AR-15 .556 rounds to the head of walking (story) zombies that deserve to be put out of OUR misery. Pandering, preaching, and condescension - are not supposed to be the subtext of every narrative.

Out of the corpse - perhaps a phoenix can rise.

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"Out of the corpse - perhaps a phoenix can rise".

That is my hope, and my observation seems to confirm it. Independent art and media seems to keep growing and gaining ground steadily year by year.

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saw a short interview with Stephen Hilton, and he seems to have been given a similar treatment to the one you received from theater from Hollywood. He dared to diverge from the orthodoxy of the Left. Might be an interesting conversation...

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