By Prof. Robert Brustein
Millennial Stages files Brustein’s pondering at the vital matters roiling the nationwide soul” in the beginning of the twenty-first century. His establishing part explores the connections among theater and society, theater and politics, and theater and faith, and it really is by means of studies of such landmark productions as The Producers and Spamalot, Long Day’s trip into evening and King Lear. In his ultimate part, Brustein displays on humans and locations of significance on the earth of theater this present day, together with Marlon Brando and Arthur Miller and Australia and South Africa.
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Additional info for Millennial Stages: Essays and Reviews 2001-2005
Looking back, though, I believe this was a very healthy act of catharsis which, without actually changing any minds, exposed the public to the fact that there were alternatives to the prevailing system of reviewing (including their own opinions). It also demonstrated that if there was dissatisfaction with the state of the American theatre, there was also considerable dissatisfaction with the state of its criticism. Did anyone care? Certainly, to judge by the dwindling amount of space being devoted to plays in newspapers and magazines, the theatre was becoming of marginal interest to the general public.
That time, like this play, is history. When Dramaturgs Ruled the Earth Once upon a time in America, theatre criticism was a popular and universal practice. Every newspaper and mass magazine had regular drama critics, and most little magazines and scholarly journals devoted significant space to what was happening in New York. This was in the nineteen fifties and sixties. Four major newspapers were being published in the city, each with an influential reviewer. Not as many, it is true, as in previous decades, when seven newspaper critics were presiding over Broadway hits and flops.
It is hard to imagine a more appropriate leader in such a godly time than a born-again president who believes in absolute good and absolute evil, who needs no evidence to support his pretexts for preemptive wars, whose ear is directly tuned to the voice of his Creator. September th may also have influenced the conduct of the cultural left, which has been known to display its own brand of intolerance and consensualism in pursuit of certainty. In the past, that agency was Stalinism. Today, it is “political correctness,” a catchphrase for the way that some people imprint a red state mentality on blue state issues—whether aﬃrmative action, multiculturalism, racial justice, female equality, or gay and lesbian rights.