American Zion is in direct dialogue with the 1990s socially meaningful plays fromAngels in America by Tony Kushner to The Laramie Project by Moises Kaufman. Many of the socially meaningful plays of the 90s “answer the easy questions without asking the difficult ones.” American Zion attempts to expose the moral grey and darkness present within America by asking the difficult questions.
“Art should awaken their public to a larger system that we have to respond to.”
For the playwright Charles Green, art should challenge the viewer by asking difficult questions. A great play should “leave you struggling with what’s going on and stimulate your brain to think critically” when you walk out of the theatre.
“Human beings are contradictory by nature, somewhat irrational and in constant self conflict.” With this as the definition of a human being, Charles created nine complicated characters coming to grips with their reality. The play is about a “murder in a small town in Arizona and how the death of one person links the lives of nine, destroying any true sense of self” in each of the characters.
Charles is studying playwriting in the School of Theater. He described playwriting as “being the world’s tallest midget” because even the most famous playwrights are unknown to the general public and not studied in most high schools.
When asked who writes great plays he said the English. Such controversial playwrights as Edward Bond, Howard Barker, Sarah Kane, Harold Pinter and Caryl Churchill all force people to face the issues present within society and ask questions. When asked why the English do this better than Americans, he said because they saw firsthand the effects of WWII. In general, America takes personal freedom for granted, whereas England faced the threat of fascism and because of this is keenly aware of political issues. America tends to look “at problems but not the mechanisms that lead to those problems.”
All performances are in the Massman Theatre next to the tennis courts. Tickets are $5.
Directed by Shaya Mulcahy
Written by Charles Green
Stage Manager: Christina Bryan
Technical Director: Kate Harrow
Assistant Stage Manager: Richy Storrs
Lighting Designer: William Sammons
Sound Designer: Kelsi Halverson
Costumes: Alena Henke
Hair and Make-Up: Giselle Gilbert
Poster: Biz Wallace
*Article originally posted here