Wednesday, January 24, 2007

World Premiere

Tonight after President Bush's State of the Union Address, I premiered The Re-Education of George W. Bush here in Portland, Oregon. The audience was comprised of some VERY serious peace activists, a generous sprinkling of gay men and a few college-age students.

No doubt I felt anxious, not about remembering my lines (or Vlad's killer dance moves--they actually wanted an encore). No, I felt anxious about the script itself and the issues that I raise. In addition to talking about war in Iraq and Afghanistan, I brought up a load of issues indirectly and directly.
  • Racism in America and white male power and privilege--particularly the privilege many of us have to live without seeing racism or knowing that it really still exists.
  • The Environment and the personal impact to make a difference. (Get rid of your car! Stop eating meat and dairy products!)
  • Sexism in the Bible and the world.
  • The slippery slope of anti-gay legislation in Nazi German and parallels to the US.
  • The ways we treat strangers, aliens and outsiders among us, and how America seems to pay much more attention to enemies than to friends.
  • Health care, dismal health care.
I actually left out a section about the economy because I didn't want it to get too long or wonky. People seemed to really connect with it though and with the guests I included. Marvin charmed them in spite of being so very contrary at times. In fact, he presented some of the deepest truths of the piece. How can we stand in the presence of God and a man is dying right in front of us and we don't even know it?

Overall, the piece seemed to have been a success. I was happy with the script and the characters and the energy. The flow worked well and I got to unearth some key issues for US citizens to consider. I also pushed myself to be more personal and present than in any other show.

AND I got to say and demonstrate that Change is Possible. Actually Marvin brought this up first about his conversion into a former homosexual, but I followed through and talked about how I changed from a Born-Again, Evangelical, Fundamentalist, Conservative Republican Christian whatever it is that I am becoming--hopefully more and more human.

Human--That is not a liberal or a conservative thing. We all can practice oppression, intolerance and violence regardless of our politics. I see violence on all sides and it is ugly all around (and often non-effectual). I guess it is about love and respect and listening. That reveals so much more to me about someone's morality than who they marry.

Now very tired and spent, I go to bed. Tomorrow, I present Queer 101--Now I know my gAy,B,Cs for the local queer youth/young adult group. (I hear they can be a tough crowd. But that is what I like about teens; they know crap and insincerity when they see it and are usually not afraid to say it.)


At 2:11 AM , Blogger Annis said...

I am glad you feel that what you did was succesful - of course it was :) And I love the name queer 101- now I know my gAy B C´s. It's so .. you :)

At 9:09 AM , Blogger Plain Foolish said...

Sounds really good. I wish I could see you perform. When are you headed next to the mid-Atlantic?

At 10:41 AM , Blogger Elliot Coale said...

Yup. We teens... we totally kick ass. And our intuition and judgment is impecable (of course, there are always exceptions ::thinks of idiot bio. brothers and the majority of class:: ::sigh::)

At 2:30 PM , Blogger Jonathan said...

DAMN! I wish like heck I could have been there! Sounds as if you were amazing and the message profound!

Good luck with the youngun's. I had the priviledge to speak for a youth convention a year or so ago. I only spoke for like 20 minutes and with the spotlights and the complete quietness of the auditorium, I just knew I was dying. Afterwards though, I was surrounded by these kids who loved on me and told me how much what I said meant to them. It was pretty amazing! I have a sneaking feeling you'll get much love from them!!!


At 11:13 PM , Blogger grace said...

I'll have to explain it to you later when we have a chance to talk...but the way we stay "in sync" is just very often scary to me.

I'm just so glad that I know for a fact that we are indeed two different people....even though no one has ever actually seen us in the same place at the same time.

love ya much!

At 1:30 AM , Blogger Peterson Toscano said...

pam, well, perhaps we are twins separated at birth. I hear they have some strange connections.

anna hp, you would love queer 101, lots of Chad and some Federico Garcia Lorca.

plain foolish, well, hook me up! I travel easily and would love to come to the mid-Atlantic again. We're talking MD?

elliot, dude, you would LOVE this youth group I went to tonight. So many aware gender queer and trans folks. I can see you in such a setting. It was like True Colors but on a local and regular basis.

jonathan, one of these days you will see one of my shows, but more importantly, i will get to meet you face to face! Yes, I got lots of affirmation from the youth tonight.

At 9:36 AM , Blogger Annis said...

federico garcia lorca *trembling like the hyena in lionking*

At 11:08 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's about time that Marvin debuted, for bloody sake! :)

Joe G.

At 11:11 AM , Blogger Peterson Toscano said...

Well, Joe G. you live! Nice to see you've been lurking. I've misse your sassy remarks.


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