For almost ten days, we’ve laid low. As Sandra’s run continues to bring in record-breaking crowds and we continue to host a festive, joyous blast inside the theater — today, Sunday, being the last day of performances before we break for the Jewish new year and then continue on with rehearsals for our world premiere of HONEY BROWN EYES — we begin to emerge from the bunker that was our hunkered down position as this blog was over-run by the Right. And it may continue to be. Our biggest number of hits since last Monday have come from the David Duke.com site — the website belonging to the White Supremacist himself. He writes at length about Sandra’s show. But then so did Rush Limbaugh. And so did Matt Drudge. And we made it onto Fox TV. We made it onto The O’Reilly Factor. We got email saying it was from Sean Hannity (but we don’t believe it). We got 6 minutes of chatter on the Fox program, the “Jack-A-Log,” and we made religious sites like The Occidental Observer and nativist sites like American Nationalist Union. All picking up on the Sandra video, the Sandra rant, the Palin bashing. And the result? 159 comments that we have not yet posted. But we soon shall in some modified form. Perhaps. If we get permission. To expose the kind of invective that’s out there. To expose ourselves to the furious criticism that we received from these quarters. It mattered not for the show, which has been a wonderful ride – a great success – and a bit of a test of nerves too. Suffice to say that once the show comes down, we’ll present an artful arrangement of selected sections of conservative bile and American muck. And we can see just what kind of divisiveness lurks in this country.
No, we are not without blame here. And we draw battle lines too. Like Sandra, we provoke the occasional fight. And like Sandra, when all is said and done, we don’t really mean any ill; we mean health and healing for this country. We mean for a better environment in which to deal with the problems besetting all of us (and they are legion).
We are not without blame on this blog. I made mistakes here. I’ve revealed too much. I left ourselves exposed to the haters; and the haters had at us. We moderated their comments; rejected them almost entirely (because we can; because they were ugly and awful and largely unprintable), but we are returning to voice; we are returning to reflect on what we produce and the reaction / reception / response to that work. We’re only a somewhat more chastened blog — or check that; make that “I” am now only somewhat of a more chastened blogging voice after what’s transpired. We’ll repeat the previous post, that this blog is maintained and edited by me, Ari Roth, Artistic Director of Theater J, together with other staff members of the theater including our Literary Director and Associate Marketing Director. The opinions and views expressed on this site belong to the individual author(s) of the specifc posts and comments–and do not represent the views or opinions of the Washington DCJCC, its Board of Directors, employees, donors or members.
This blog was temporarily quieted by high-grade vitriol coming in over the transom. But mostly we were self-censoring so as to not to further endanger our performer nor spill fuel on the fire of the controversy surrounding her show. The good news to report, once again, is that despite an ugly threat or two, there were no incidents to speak of–only the presence of a strong and sensitive security detail here at the J and festive crowds for the past two weeks. And today we’ll go out in style!
Thank you, Sandra, for a wonderful run. For your energy, your bravery, your rewrites, your cuts and your fabulous additions (“BARRACUDA!”); for retelling this controversy on our stage, and for moving past it as well. You’ve rocked the house. And we’re a better theater for your time with us here in DC.
More soon, we promise. In the meantime: Any Non-Radical-Right comments? They’re absolutely welcome.