By Sara Constantakis, Carole L. Hamilton
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Additional resources for Drama for Students: Presenting Analysis, Context, and Criticism on Commonly Studied Dramas. Volume 23
They do not want to abuse their power to influence and mold thoughts, as some politicians and political parties do. Political playwrights keep their audiences alert and distanced from characters and events so that audiences understand that this is the way to approach all important things in life: critically and skeptically. Fo employs self-reflexive moments throughout Accidental Death of an Anarchist. For example, from the very first moments of the play, when the major character, the Maniac, is introduced, the play makes reference to itself.
Miller could reply that his operation had been transparent. The suggestion has been made that Fo has suffered from similar distortions without the benefit of transparency. “The problem in Fo’s case,” writes David L. ” Tony Mitchell similarly entitles his consideration of English language versions “Adapting Fo,” and while he and Hirst agree that only one work escapes general censorship, they disagree over which work that is. For Mitchell that play is We Can’t Pay? , a view Hirst dismisses with a polemical spleen others would find appropriate only when describing the activities of neo-fascist pederasts.
Political theater, it is important to note, is not theater that lectures an audience on a particular political belief system (or at least it is not supposed to do that). Political theater is theater that attempts to heighten the critical consciousness of its audience. In other words, dramatists with a political bent are interested in furthering audience members’ ability to sort through the complexities of modern life so as to make informed decisions about weighty issues; they are not interested only in entertaining their audiences.