Archive for the ‘New Orleans’ Tag

Removing Statues — Changing Stadium Names

The officials running the city of New Orleans decided to remove the public statues of Confederate States of America figures. Mayor Mitch Landrieu and the City Council sparked both huge protests and large rallies of support. The same historic moments mean heritage to some and bondage and misery to others. The city leaders declared the statues a public nuisance and determined that the pain they inflicted outweighed the heritage they represented. The statues reminded many of their past oppression but also remind people of today’s inequality in New Orleans.

New Orleans is largely segregated. Stagnating wages and gentrification have compounded income disparity here. People in East New Orleans suffer from extremely limited economic and social opportunities and the area has not recovered from Hurricane Katrina.

In Melbourne, the tennis stadium bears the name of tennis great Margaret Court. The 74-year-old is currently a Christian pastor and has over the past several years made anti-gay statements, including personal attacks on specific players. The comments certainly represent the heritage and attitudes of a segment of the population but have also generated significant opposition and backlash. The majority of professional tennis players have made their support for same-sex marriage known.

Several interesting questions arise from this controversy. Does the Australian Tennis Federation elect to remove Court’s name from the stadium because of the public rancor and hurt she now represents? If they don’t will tennis professional elect to skip the Australian Open? Stay tuned.

Rare Tennessee Williams

Saw a development workshop for a Tennessee Williams’ short story, One Arm. Georgetown University in conjunction with Arena Stage performed it last night and this evening.

After watching the reading of the script, the director and all the actors sit on stage and hear your opinions. You tell them what you liked, what your were confused about, and what you did not like. What fun!

Adapted from a three-hour screenplay that Williams wrote in the early 1970s, famed playwright Moises Kaufman has a lot of work on his hands both reducing the movie yet retaining its themes and style.

Kaufman has a good start. He has authored excellent plays in the past, including Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde33 Variations and is perhaps best known for writing The Laramie Project

We liked a lot of specific scenes. A scene in a penthouse overlooking Central Park in the 1940s in which a repressed gay man has his walls stripped down by the one arm prostitute,  is very real and moving. Other scenes give you insight into the seemlier side of life during the middle of the twentieth century.

This workshop of Kaufman’s adaptation of Williams’ sexually charged potboiler (which premiered at Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago), is in advance of its New York premiere this coming Spring. Kaufman will return in the Spring as a featured participant in our Williams’ Centennial Weekend Festivities (March 24–27).

The actor playing the john in the penthouse was pleased with the affect his scene had.

Nick Cornish, who played the One Arm prostitute, was excellent and would be an asset to the show when it opens off-Broadway. He has the body to make people believe in the transformative affects of the character.