The Subversive Theatre Collective:

2002-2014: Now in the twelfth year of our kamikaze journey!
Subversive Theatre: Where pissing you off is only the beginning

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"The nation's morals are like teeth: the more decayed they are the more it hurts to touch them." 

-George Bernard Shaw
Click below for more info...
-- About the Author
-- About the Cast & Crew
-- About Directions
-- Production Photos
-- About the Buffalo "infringement" Festival
-- READ REVIEW: Buffalo News 7/31/07
-- READ REVIEW: Artvoice Magazine 8/2/07
-- READ REVIEW: Buffalo Rising Magazine 8/1/07
-- READ REVIEW: Nightlife Magazine 8/6/07
-- Return to this Play's Main Page

Production History of

SINCERITY FOREVER

     The story of SINCERITY FOREVER began in 1990 when poet/playwright Mac Wellman (who had just won the Obie Award for Best American Play for his works TRAGIC HIP and CROWBAR) received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to develop his next play.
     It just so happened that this was the very time when right-wing Senator Jesse Helms was hammering through draconian legislation requiring all recipients of NEA Grants to sign a pledge that they would not use government funds to produce "impure or unwholesome" artwork.
     Suitably outraged, and with a delicious sense of irony, Mac Wellman undertook to concoct the most blasphemous, obscene, and inflammatory play he could imagine.  Thus, SINCERITY FOREVER -- with its KKK robes, its screeching furballs, and it's foul-mouthed Black female Jesus -- was born.  Wellman was quick to dedicate his new play to Jesse Helms for the "fine work you are doing of destroying civil liberties in these United States."
     SINCERITY FOREVER  was first produced as the winner of the 1990 Berkshire Theatre Festival Roger Nathan Hirschl Playwriting Award.  The play premiered at the Festival's Unicorn Theatre with the following cast and crew:

Director . . . . . . . . . Richard Caliban
Sound Designer . . . . . . David Van Tieghem
Set Designer . . . . . . James Youmans
Costume Designer . . . . . . Mary Myers
Lighting Designer . . . . . . . . . Kenneth Posner

Judy . . . . . . . . Angie Phillips
Molly . . . . . . . . . Kate Forbes
Tom . . . . . . . Jason Duchin
Hank . . . . . . . . Tom Hildreth
George . . . . Ntare Mwine
Lloyd . . . . . . Mark Singale
Melvin . . . . . . . Tom Simpson
Furball One . . . . Luann Adams
Furball Two . . . . Theresa Kaplan
Jesus H. Christ . . . Ariane Brandt 

     Controversy was quick to follow as right-wing Christian Crusader Reverend Donald E. Wildmon denounced the play in an article for The Journal of the American Family Association with the provocative title: "PLAYWRIGHT USES $15,500 GRANT TO WRITE PLAY DEPICTING JESUS AS A FOUL-MOUTHED BIGOT."
     Wellman wrote an impassioned letter to Rev. Wildmon in which he responded: "It is you, Donald, who is the foul-mouthed bigot... It is you and not Jesus -- neither the one of my play nor the historical person -- who hates gays and lesbians, black people, Jews, and everyone else who isn't lily-white, born-again, and xenophobic like you."
    
The National Endowment for the Arts was quick to run from controversy and urgently asked that Wellman remove any mention of NEA funding for his play.  Wellman politely complied.  All copies of the script now begin with the correction "I was wrong, SINCERITY FOREVER was NOT made possible by the generous assistance of the NEA.  I don't know what I was thinking."   
     SINCERITY FOREVER then made it's New York City debut at the Brooklyn Arts and Cultural Association Downtown as part of the 1990 Fringe Series.  It featured the following cast and crew: 

Director . . . . . . . . . Jim Simpson
Sound Designer . . . . . . David Van Tieghem
Set & Lighting Designer . . . . . . Kyle Chepulis
Costume Designer . . . . . . Mary Myers
Lighting Designer . . . . . . . . . Claudia Brown

Judy . . . . . . . . Amy Brenneman (yes, the actress from JUDGING AMY)
Molly . . . . . . . . . Jan Harding
Tom . . . . . . . Zach Grenier
Hank . . . . . . . . Patrick Kerr
George . . . . Steve Mellor
Lloyd . . . . . . Dan Moran
Melvin . . . . . . . David Van Tieghem
Furball One . . . . Leslie Nipkow
Furball Two . . . . Frank Deal
Jesus H. Christ . . . Kenya Scott

     SINCERITY FOREVER went on to win Mac Wellman his second consecutive Obie Award for Best New American Play.

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