All theatre, like all art of any form, has one of two possible objectives:
aesthetics or anesthetics.
The vast majority of theatres today are
designed to anesthetize. They
perform plays that celebrate complacency and complicity.
They provide their patrons with polite diversion, with an excuse to
dress up and drink up, they help the privileged classes maintain the illusion
they are "cultured." Unsurprisingly,
the Establishment finds oceans of funding for THESE types of theatres.
But some of us believe that theatre can serve a
higher purpose than simply amusing the affluent elite. Some of us
believe it is theatre's duty not to lull people to sleep, but to wake them up;
not to leave audiences feeling everything is "hunky dory," but to
raise awareness, provoke, challenge, empower, incense,
inspire, and even agitate!
We at Subversive Theatre undertake to build a
PEOPLES THEATRE . . . a theatre of aesthetics that is not beholden to
corporate paymasters, but exclusively dedicated to the needs, concerns, and
aspirations of those who are oppressed, exploited, and dis-enfranchised by the
existing social order . . . a theatre that is not just a talkshop for abstract
ideas, but a catalyst for action working directly with local, national, and
international activist campaigns . . . a theatre that endorses no one political
doctrine, but embraces the wide spectrum of the activist movement.
privileged classes are well aware that the pen can be mightier than the sword.
For that reason they have flooded the world's stages with THEIR
stories and cut the rest of us off from our own.
Subversive Theatre commits itself entirely to presenting plays that
tell the Peoples' stories -- both the classics of the past as well as the new
emerging radical works of the present. In this way, we hope
to help keep the august tradition of American protest theatre alive and
kicking in the Twenty-First Century.