About This Show

Nine of St. Louis’ most exciting, most adventurous theatre companies have come together in an unprecedented collaboration to bring to local audiences the first ever St. Louis Political Theatre Festival. The festival features eleven shows running from August to December, in venues all over the metro area, bringing the most important issues of our times to the stages of St. Louis. These shows will challenge audiences to think about and get involved in the great struggles of our times and our country, as our nation heads for some of the most crucial midterm Congressional elections in recent history.

The Festival was created for two reasons – first, to remind people that theatre often tackles the biggest issues of our times, with enormous power and better than any other art form. And second, to remind St. Louisans of the importance of being engaged in government “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” The stage has forever been a place where political issues have been examined and challenged. The ritualistic and social significance of the earliest Greek performances in central arenas brought relevance to many controversial topics — war, politics, sex. The same thing is done today.

Throughout history, the times of greatest tumult have also been the times of the greatest theatre – in America in the 1930s and the 1960s and 70s, but also in modern day Belfast and in Elizabethan England. America in the new millennium is one such place and time. Back during the height of the Depression, the American theatre became increasingly, intensely political, with shows like Waiting for Lefty, The Cradle Will Rock, Power, Awake and Sing!, One Third of a Nation, It Can’t Happen Here, Pins and Needles, and many others. Once America entered World War II, rabid patriotism overpowered political dissent, and political theatre faded away. But when the 60s arrived with renewed political and social unrest, the theatre returned to fiercely political drama and satire, with shows like Hair, Viet Rock, Cabaret, McBird, US, Tom Paine, Futz, and many others. But the materialism of the 80s and the dot-com prosperity of the 90s lessened the public appetite for political theatre once again. Then came the September 11 attacks, and the Bush administration. Now, political theatre is back again, and it’s healthier and fiercer than ever.

THE SHOWS OF THE FESTIVAL:

The Patriot Freedom Bingo Machine

MOments
August 10 – August 19, 2006
Artloft Theatre

American Buffalo
August 17 – August 27, 2006
The Jewish Community Center

Touch the Names
September 17, 2006
The Heights

Tartuffe
October 5 – October 22, 2006
Little Theatre

Bold Girls
October 6 – October 22, 2006
Center of Contemporary Arts

Coming Out Stores: An Interactive Event
October 11, 2006 (National Coming Out Day)

Johnny Appleweed
October 12 – November 4, 2006
Artloft Theatre

Girl Gone
October 19 – October 29, 2006
The Jewish Community Center

Sonnets for an Old Century
December 7 – December 17, 2006

Show Details

Dates: Opening Night: August 10, 2006 Final Performance: December 17, 2006
Location: Various Locations, Missouri

,

St Louis,

63105

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