Director Tracy Brigden discusses Keith Reddin's new political comedy, The Missionary Position, at Merrimack Repertory Theatre.
The work centers around a representative of a Christian organization who is on the campaign trail with a Presidential candidate. While this set-up may seem poised to make fun of Republicans more than Democrats, Brigden assures that the humor is bi-partisan, and what's really ridiculed are "people who are extreme in their viewpoints, and not open to discussion or a conversation with others about compromise. The title obviously has a sexual connotation, but it's also about preaching to convert people to your side."
The play was commissioned by Pittsburgh's City Theatre, where Brigden is artistic director, and where the production was initially mounted last spring. "The reason I think American writers don't do a lot of plays about contemporary politics is that by the time they go through the journey to get the play on stage in America, the subject matter is passé and dead," states Brigden. "We put it on the City Theatre schedule before we had even seen the script, because we wanted to get it on prior to the election."