The Return to Morality

On Thursday, Radius Goes to the Theater to see Jamie Pachino’s The Return to Morality.  The play tells the tale of a down and out writer, Arthur Kellogg, who decides to write a satire about the fringe right wing of American politics.  The book becomes a stunning success for all the wrong reasons. He's suddenly a hero to America's angry, disaffected classes. What started as a satire develops into a crisis for Arthur as he realizes that play-acting and reality begin to blur as he becomes the mouthpiece for the extreme right 

When Pachino wrote the play in 1998, the group she was lampooning was the “Moral Majority” (Think Jerry Falwell and Jesse Helms). Watching the play today, it’s not so much a satire but a shockingly accurate depiction of our current presidential election. In a recent interview, when asked about satire and absurdity regarding politics and her play, Pacino replied:

“At the time (1999) it was absurd -- the things in the lead character's book, everything that happens to him, the circus of it all... I think since the Clinton presidency you're looking at a much more sophisticated machine behind any candidate, along with a savvy manipulation of the media. Or else maybe we wouldn't have a reality TV show presidential candidate.”

A reality TV show presidential candidate we do, indeed, have. Are we jaded and manipulated as an electorate? Is it all a circus? Does truth matter anymore? If time allows, we will host a brief talk-back after the show. Come join us for “The Return to Morality” as we consider some of these questions.