Manifesto Series, Volume 3: Here's to a Theater of Defiance

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Editor: Naomi Iizuka

Plays Included:

Language Rooms by Yussef El Guindi
"A new, brilliant dark comedy… As our politics and political leaders continue to fail us, we need more theater like Language Rooms." - Broad Street Review, Philadelphia

Clubfoot, or, Tales From the Back of an Ambulance by Bret Fetzer & Stephen McCandless
"Clubfoot concerns itself with human nature - in the inexplicable, universal ways that humans cope with those great equalizers, pain and suffering. ...you should consider this required viewing." - Seattle Times

Mitzi's Abortion by Elizabeth Heffron
"Powerfully lays to rest any notion that there are just two sides in the interminable battle… no matter where you fall in the debate, you'll be moved." - Miami Herald

Vera Wilde by Chris Jeffries
"Strange and marvelous... mixes the German cabaret mordancy of Threepenny Opera, the pop-opera sweep of Les Miserables, and Tin Pan Alley razzmatazz... while raising pithy questions about art and revolution, success and failure, disillusionment and idealism." - Seattle Times

An American Book of the Dead: The Game Show by Paul Mullin
"...a dazzling intellectual vaudeville, written with wit and dash, and executed with verve." - LA Weekly

Live! From the Last Night of My Life by Wayne Rawley
"Magnificent in its quietude, Chekhov at the corner store. It's a beautiful and sad meditation on how people live-and-die-now." - The Stranger

Wizzer Pizzer by Amy Wheeler
"Wizzer Pizzer revels in the comic possibilities of its timely subject, turns gender politics topsy-turvy and offers something sexy for every orientation." - Creative Loafing

Excerpt from the Author's Manifesto:

Here's to a theater of defiance.

A message in a bottle.

A virus in the system.

A warrior cry across the wilderness of the bland, the safe, and the familiar.

Here's to the playwright as truth-teller. Here's to the spirits of Cassandra and Falstaff, the fierce prophets and the clever clowns, the prescient iconoclasts, the brilliant mavericks, the wondrous freaks.

Here's to the provocateurs who call you out, who make you stop in your tracks and listen. Here's to the voices in the room who make you take a good hard look at the world around you, how it is, how it really is, the absurdities, the injustices, the hypocrisies, the small and not so small cruelties that we become inured to in our daily lives.

And, no, I'm not talking about some Old Testament prophet preaching on a soapbox - - although a little Old Testament prophesying can be a good thing. I'm talking about something else, something trickier and more subtle, something more alchemic.

I'm talking about changing the radio station that's insinuated itself into our day to day lives, that's become so ingrained we don't even realize we're listening to the most formulaic of pop melodies or, even worse, some anemic, muzak version of a song that we once loved.

Here's to changing the radio station, jamming the frequency, smashing the radio itself and finding another way to make and hear music. Choose whatever metaphor strikes a chord within you, but whatever you do, I'm talking about shaking things up. I'm talking about challenging the status quo in theatre and in life. I'm talking about a theatre of defiance. How you embody and enact that defiance is up for grabs.

Here's to the voices in the room who insist on a different way of doing things.

A different way to write a play

A different way to make theatre

A different way to see the world

A different way to exist in the world.

-Naomi Iizuka


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