@ The Living Theatre
21 Clinton Street
New York, NY 10002
The trip starts on the “F” train heading towards Delancey Street, and while contemplating what to expect from the Living Theater, everything washes away after settling in the historic venue. Music echoes in the background, well the foreground of the theater while two cast members offer brief entertainment as guests settle in. On that note, let us begin the journey and travel back in time to the early 1960’s. An era marked by world leaders such as American Presidents Eisenhower, Johnson, Nixon; Vietnamese leaders, Ngo Dinh Diem, and Ho Chi Minh, ruled while others protested the Vietnam War and unleashed long lasting cultural revolutions.
The play highlights the rise and demise of the Black Panthers, the Supremists, and in this case the Weather Underground. The 1960’s where polygamy, feminist power, and “free love” flowed like the River Nile without judgment or restrictions. It was also a time period where true sacrifices in the name of “peace and freedom.”
At the beginning of the play, while guests get comfortable, a cast member requests the audience to write down on their vision for a “perfect America” on flash cards. We travel back in history for a couple of hours and it is quite difficult to hold back emotions because everything feels real even while piercing and addressing issues such as segregation, inequality, and racial discrimination. We are naïve to think they do not exist in these modern times as they are now masked under different variations. At the end of the play, we participate in a brief meet and greet and it was a pleasure to dive into the actors minds and dissect further the motivation behind the production. If you remain interested in subsequent events check out the following link: http://www.theassembletheater.com for further information and with an open mind prepare for a revolution of your own. Additionally, here is a question worth marinating, what is your perfect America? Is it the “picket white fence” dream, or fighting behind the picket fences? Is everything worth the chase?
By: Laura M. Artis