Captive audience : prison and captivity in contemporary by Thomas Fahy, Kimball King

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By Thomas Fahy, Kimball King

This all-new assortment examines the social, gendered, ethnic, and cultural difficulties of incarceration as explored in modern theatre.

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The theater is the perfect place to reenact the scene of the crime. As the audience, we do not perform as detectives who believe in the virtues of hardcore evidence, clues, detection, pathology, nor as priests or gods who wait to hear confessions and take care by forgiving trespasses. The theatrical audience is there to imagine what it must have felt like for victim and perpetrator, and why what happened took place. We are in this Third Space, a place neither here nor there, one in which people are masked and made up and speak lies.

As daughters, as females, my sister and I had been taught that our place within the family did not carry the same worth as that occupied by our brother, the lone male, the anointed son. Within two years of that last tragic leap of faith, my father lay dead, my brother gone, too, having traded one prison for another. No one, not my father, not my brother, not us daughters, should be so crushed at the hands of violence. If we refuse to forsake him, my sister and I will spend the next thirty years maintaining correspondence, quarterly packages, and visits to the prison.

Audiences at the recent revival of Carlos Morton’s The Many Deaths of Danny Morales as part of the Chicano Classics Theater Festival (UCLA, July 25–30, 2002) cried out in empathetic identification during key scenes where police beat the protagonist; they gave the work a standing ovation. ” Works Cited Alexander, Elizabeth. ’: Reading the Rodney King Video(s),” in Black Male: Representations of Masculinity in Contemporary American Art. Ed. Henry Louis Gates Jr. et al. New York: Whitney Museum of American Art, 1994.

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