MODERATION IS A MYTH

There was a presidential election last week, and, honey, we’re FEELING GOOD!!

Now it is time to come together and heal the soul of a divided nation…hold on, what’s that??? More VIBES!

Whew, wait, we really need to talk about unity and the bright future of the world’s sexiest democracy….calm down, we can cool it down.

Yup, the mood is pure 2013 party – we just got out of a terrible relationship and we. are. ready. to. VIBE! Pound a Four Loco, inhale that tasty menthol flavor of a Camel Crush. Drop a dime in the jukebox and play me that sweet, sweet Of Monsters and Men.   

But these vibes…there is a sourness to them. Some great tasting headlines, but I’m picking up notes of losing, and a heady bouquet of handwringing in the nose.

Because let’s get real: the 2020 election was a disaster for the Democratic Party down-ballot.

No mandate in the Senate. A very slim majority in the House. Catastrophes in state houses around the country. Yes, we should all care about the two run-off Senate races in Georgia, but even if both are wins, that still means the entire legislative agenda for the next few years will be based around what red state Dem senators like Joe Manchin will sign off on.

So post your cringe and post your cope, but you can’t scold me (or the Democratic Party electorate, for that matter) into believing that I shouldn’t feel at least partly desolate about the political possibilities in the near term (ok so this is my own form of cope).

Already much cringe and cope has been posted, and much of it has tried to shore up the narrative that Democrats need to run toward the magical, sensible, boring realm of “moderation.”

Don’t fall for this!!

Elections are fascinating, the saying goes, because ideology collides with reality in real time. What is the overarching narrative of 2016 to 2018 to 2020?

It is definitely not the “demographics are destiny” and “increase voter turnout” slogans so many of us have been told – turnout was huge this year (cool!), but there was no tsunami Blue Wave beyond the White House, and Trump’s increases with Black and Hispanic voters should be raising alarm bells with DNC leadership that they can’t assume whole demographics will vote Blue, as if that ever was the case.

The latest cope to be shoved down our throats is that voters were scared off by worries about police departments defunded, high taxes, atheist college professors dating our daughters and other signs of encroaching socialism.

In a nutshell, the argument is that Democrats lost because the electorate wants moderation….

Now, a thought experiment (this blog posts counts as immersive theater).

Think about any arena of political policy. Healthcare. Racial justice. Climate change. Guns. Truly anything. Now articulate a policy goal that you think should happen regarding that issue (whisper it to a houseplant).

How did you come to this conclusion? Did you think about the two most extreme positions out there and then calculate what you believe is the best median position between the two poles? No? Why do we assume other people think like that?

When people call for moderation, it is based off a faulty understanding of how everyone actually formulates their own viewpoint (assuming these calls are made on good faith — I’m not getting into the fact that there are plenty of people making this suggestion who make a whole lot of money off it).

Most likely, I’m guessing that policies you believe in are based off of lived experience and some personal value system (if your value system is finding the political center of every issue, then you have overdosed on West Wing and there is no saving you).

To me, there is no overarching electoral narrative defining the past five years (besides: “yikes.”)

When you pop the hood on the 2020 election, you find lots of contradictions. Floridians rejected Biden, but voted for a $15 minimum wage. Montana voted for legalized weed. On the darker side, California went to Biden but approved Prop 22, a major win by Uber and Lyft in their efforts to make us a nation of beautiful, benefit-less independent contractors (time to hustle BABY).

Very interestingly, polls continue to show huge support for government-run healthcare plans.

How do we solve these contradictions so we can create a more equitable and just society?

Hey, I don’t know, I’m just another sensitive artist. I think there are many talented thinkers who agree with me and I’m hopeful a strategy for a reinvigorated Left will begin to cohere in the coming months.

My wider point here is that you shouldn’t believe it when pollsters, the media and political leaders rebuke you into believing that American voters are “moderate” in the sense of “not extreme.”

I think it is closer to the truth that the vast majority of Americans (especially the ones who don’t obsess over politics online) hold a bunch of loosely connected, and often contradictory, political beliefs that are often vastly more extreme (right or left) than what Joe Manchin or Susan Collins believes.

Maybe with targeted outreach and the right kind of messaging, something resembling a quality future can be achieved through the ballot box (ok so this is more cringe with a dash of cope).

Oh yeah, so in the 2.5 years since I’ve updated this blog, I’ve moved to NYC, attended NYU Tisch for a MFA in Dramatic Writing, received my MFA in Dramatic Writing (my Thesis in Screenplay, thank you very much), and I’m frothing up in Final Draft most days. Also, there was a global coronavirus pandemic and Clare and I were supposed to get married this past weekend (11/7/20, i.e. Bidenday AKA “Bruncher’s Revenge”), and we had to move our wedding until next November….but we’re still feeling these vibes!!!

Longish-form blogging on current events? I’m sort of feeling it. Are you? If so, let me know. If not, cry more lol

Love,

Barry

CHAMPAGNE opens in 2 WEEKS!!

Champagne Postcard Front
Graphic Design by Clare Berends

Hey there-
So my new play, CHAMPAGNE, is opening in two weeks in San Francisco.
The play is an epic journey through one party at a Pacific Heights mansion for a new, buzzy social media startup Chatwick. Amid plenty of Steve Jobs quotes, there is murder, there is ballet and, of course, a bubble machine is involved.
The play, 5 years in the making, was inspired by my work as a tech journalist and is being produced by playwright collective 6NewPlays, where I’m a founding member.
CHAMPAGNE runs June 21 – July 15.
 
Here are some more details. I would be honored if you could attend! THANK YOU!!
The artists involved in this project are AWESOME and it will be a boozy, slippery, trippy and bloody good time.
 
CHAMPAGNE runs June 21 to July 15:
Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00pm
Sundays at 3:00pm

Performances @ The Randall Museum
199 Museum Way

​San Francisco, CA 94114
(There is a parking lot 😎)

Tickets available at:
https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3415682

Champagne stars Christy Crowley, Rasheed Custer, Nora Doane, Brian Kennedy, Amitis Khoroushi, Megan Luis, Brian Martin, Paul Rodrigues, Ayelet Schrek and Fred Webre.
Set Design: Bernadette Flynn
Lighting Design: Maxx Kurzunski
Costume Design: Natalie Barshow
Sound Design and Composition: James Goode

Props Design: Sarabeth Spector
Stage Manager: Claudio Silva

Spent a week hygge’n out…

Hey! Just returned from spending Easter in Scandinavia, where the pastries are so good they name them after the countries, or at least Denmark.

Oh, yea, and I proposed to my girlfriend Clare. Even more exciting, she said yes!

 

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This was on top of the Oslo Opera House overlooking the harbor. How artistic!

Ok, I’ll indulge you in a few more photos of some of the more gorgeous stuff….

 

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The fjords in Norway weren’t so bad. 

 

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Saws lots of changings of the guards — this one in Stockholm, where we also enjoyed lots of fika. 

 

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Here’s me losing the race of my camera’s timer outside Rosenborg Castle near Copenhagen.

And hey, here is some theatre-related content that y’all crave.

 

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This is me knocking on the big doors of Kronborg Castle, also known to many as Elsinore, the setting for a little play called Hamlet by an up-and-coming dramatist Bill Shakespeare.

 

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This is me standing outside the apartment where Henrik Ibsen spent the last few years of his life  across from the King’s Garden in Oslo. He apparently was pretty vain and petty, which makes me feel a lot better about myself!

 

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This is Ibsen’s writing room. He kept a massive portrait of himself there as well as a large portrait of Swedish playwright August Strindberg that was positioned to be over his shoulder as he wrote at his desk. 

Ok. Working hard on bringing CHAMPAGNE to life in June. Stay diligent and keep checking this page for fun and informative updates.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time moves on and suddenly its 2018

My impersonation of everyone’s New Years Eve Facebook posts for the past half-decade:

2012: “Ok, it was a rocky year, but I’m feeling pretty positive about 2013.”
2013: “2013 was rough, I’m not going to deny it, but I’m looking forward to things turning around next year.”
2014: “There were a lot of ups and downs in 2014, mostly downs, but here’s to a happy 2015!”
2015: “I can’t say it was a great year, but I’m trying to face the next year with a good attitude.”
2016: “It was a truly, terrible, awful year for me personally and the world.”
2017: “This year was really bad. I can’t even.”

Besides the gears of history moving however they may, 2017 was a good year for me, if a bit low wattage.

 

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ISHTAR IN SYRIA received a staged reading as part of the 2017 San Francisco Olympians Festival (image credit: Cody Rishell)

 

The #1 highlight: I had a staged reading of a piece I’m extremely passionate about, Ishtar in Syria. It’s a hulking piece that combines ancient Mesopotamian myths with the Syrian conflict, written in verse. It was a beast to research and put together, but I think it’s an artistic high point for me so far. I am hoping there is some interest moving forward — if you, reader, are interested, drop me a line and we’ll talk.

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The Cool at Amado’s, San Francisco. 2017. (Photo Credit: Dennis Hearne)

Another huge accomplishment was the production of THE COOL at the underground space at Amado’s (formerly Viracoche) in the Mission neighborhood of San Francisco. The play revolved around the music of iconic jazz trumpeter Chet Baker as well as the world of 1954. Pumped full of jazz, it was musical, immersive and lots of fun. I even got to go on KQED and talk about it!

 

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I had three 1-minute plays in Playwright Foundation’s Flash Plays festival (the picture is not of my play lol) (image credit: Playwrights Foundation)

 

A couple other cool things that happened: I had three 1-minute plays in Playwrights Foundation’s annual Flash Plays festival, I had a short play in Arabian Shakespeare Company’s new works festival and I wrote a short opera, which was a trip. In terms of new full-lengths, I also wrote a holiday play — THE MONROE COUNTY SNOW CORPS INTRODUCTORY TRAINING MODULE.

I traveled to Iceland, Cabo, the Grand Canyon, Pike’s Peak in Colorado, Vancouver and all over California. Personally, 2017 turned out to be pretty fantastic (I didn’t even have to put a self-lacerating Facebook post up)!

COMING UP

2018 is poised to be a pretty huge year of awesome transition … I won’t jinx it by talking about it too much in a blog post. I’m in a waiting period right now, I’ll have a much better idea about how the next five to 10 years of my life (!) will go in about four months — it’s a weird feeling.

In terms of productions, CHAMPAGNE is going up in June here in San Francisco. I’m producing it along with 6NewPlays, this playwright group I helped found 6 (!) years ago. There will be a lot more news about that in the next few months, too, so stay tuned to this space!

 

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I got an amazing camera for Christmas and tried it out at Miniature World in Victoria, Canada. We were there for New Years, and it was more than a little strange. 

 

It’s pretty funny — I write tens of thousands of words every week working as a freelance writer, but I have never been a successful blogger. Every January since Barryeitel.com went live in 2012, I’ve tried to update the site monthly, but then drop off somewhere between April and June. I’m thinking about putting up some more exciting and fresh content here. We’ll see! No pressure! I don’t owe you anything!

Just kidding. I love you. Please make Barryeitel.com your homepage. Until next time.

-B

Ishtar in Syria at the SF Olympians

 

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The haughty King (Richard Bunker) talks down to the war goddess Ishtar (Amitis Rossoukh), the palace guard (Sasha Motalygo) and Ilabrat (Ayelet Schrek) in a staged reading of ISHTAR IN SYRIA, part of the 2017 SF Olympians Festival (photo credit: Paul Anderson).

Hello all–it’s been a spookily fun October so far. On Friday, October 13 (yikes), there was a staged reading of my play ISHTAR IN SYRIA as part of the 2017 SF Olympian Festival, which features a bunch of neat writers taking on ancient myths.

Last October, I proposed a play based off the myth of Mesopotamian goddess Ishtar that would also be a Brechtian-style examination of the Syrian Civil War and the follies of Western interventionism. Writing the piece, which is written in verse, was an immensely challenging experience and it was so gratifying to see it come to life. Directed by Sara Razavi, the reading had a brilliant cast and I’m very excited to see where it goes next.

Where’s next? Well, I’m prepping a production of my play CHAMPAGNE with 6NewPlays and getting ready, already, for the 2018 Olympian Festival — but its tarantula mating season right now in the Bay Area, so there is a lot going on.

 

April Update – Making an Opera

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6 mini-operas created in 2 days

At 3:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 29 I began the libretto for “The Craigslist Oracle,” a 12-minute opera that will receive its world premier in about five hours. With Kyle Hovatter as the composer, I am extremely excited to see it come to life as part of Opera Theater Unlimited’s 48-Hour Opera Festival.

This very well might be the first festival in history featuring operettas written over one weekend and writing my first libretto has already been eye-opening. Hearing my words sung by the phenomenal performers in rehearsal is not an experience I will ever forget.

What a crazy weekend. See you next month, and I’ll have pictures!

March Update: The Cool closes

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THE COOL at Amado’s. February 2017. Photo credit: Dennis Hearne

What a busy two months — THE COOL sold out before it even opened on 2/10 and then ran for three weekends. It’s been a terrific/challenging experience blending live jazz with dialogue, not to mention there was a cast of 14. I got to be on the radio — twice — and tried to be charming.

For a Presidents Day protest of the current protest on 2/20, I was charged with writing a song that would be in the parody musical “A Little Night Tweeting.” I came up with “We Elected A Clown,” a little humorous riff on “Send in the Clowns” that was quite droll. It was part of a #NameAPenceMusical (a sentient hashtag, essentially) at PianoFight here in San Francisco.

Tonight, I’m seeing THAT IT ALL MAKES PERFECT by Erin Bregman and directed by Susannah Martin. It is the third production by 6NewPlays — I’m #5, so expect to see a lot more about my piece within the next year.

At the TBA Conference at Berkeley Rep, the great Noelle Gibbs directed a selection from my play WEEK during a panel. It was crazy trying to sound smart aboard the Roda Stage, i.e. the big boy stage at Berkeley Rep. The snippet went really well, and I’m hoping soon the piece will finally get a full production somewhere.

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Backstage at the Roda with director Noelle Gibbs (left) and the cast of the “Week” excerpt — Jessica Sarah Bennett, Tony Ortega, (me) and James Pinkman.

Today, it is the 2 year anniversary since 6NewPlays held its Rough Draft Festival, our inaugural public event. So there’s a lot to celebrate.

Next up? Oh yea, I’m writing an opera.

I’m part of the 48 Hour Opera Festival by local opera company Opera Theater Unlimited. That’s coming up on April 30. If it wasn’t clear, essentially a team works together to come up with a 10-minute opera in two days.

Between then and now, I’m spending some R&R time in Iceland. I’ll see some Northern Lights, step on some glaciers, eat a few puffins (just kidding). I’ll report back!

Also, two weeks ago me and my girlfriend headed to Southern California to check out the “Superbloom” at Anza-Borrega State Park in the Mojave Desert as well as Joshua Tree. Yes, it was transformative. Also, warm.

Here are some photos:

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A Joshua Tree — a type of yucca named by Mormons who believed the wacky branches represented the Biblical Joshua welcoming them to the Promised Land.

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Desert Dandelion at Anza-Borrega. The Superbloom was lit

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A ocotillo, which is a pretty alien looking shrub

2016 in review, 2017 in preview!

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A particularly intense Nora Doane as Amy in THE ICE CREAM SANDWICH INCIDENT, produced by FaultLine Theater in August, 2016

I’m a fiend for 2017!

Although, like many people, 2016 was tough because many of my idols died and a good portion of my enemies came into power after a sucker punch of an election, it was also a pivotal year career-wise for me.

Let’s look at some important dates. Considering how late into January I’m publishing this, hopefully it is the last such breakdown you’ll be forced to sit through until November.

JANUARY 12Titan Award

One year ago last week, Theatre Bay Area announced that I was a recipient of the Titan Award along with two other extremely talented writers and one extremely talented director. I used the money to crank up the heat on several new plays and on revisions. On the same day, it became public that FaultLine Theatre was producing my play THE ICE CREAM SANDWICH INCIDENT in August.

JANUARY 18 – THE MORRISSEY PLAYS opens

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My last work with SF Theatre Pub, which would close for good at the end of the year, was a 10 minute play revolving around the lyrics of The Smiths’ “This Charming Man.” If you aren’t into 1980s college radio, then you might not realize that all of the plays in this production were focused on music by Morrissey, either with The Smiths or his solo work. It was a melancholy time, perfect for a melancholy year!

MARCH 25 – First day at Piedmont Post

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My first day involved profiling the florist behind this masterpiece.

I started working as a features writer for the Piedmont Post, an independent, print-only newspaper serving the 11,000 people of Piedmont, CA. It’s been a blast so far, and  strengthened my journalism chops like nothing before.

MARCH 28 – Reading of BANTER at TBA Conference

My short play BANTER, set in the 1920s, received a staged reading as part of the Playwrights Cabaret set up at the Theatre Bay Area annual conference. It was my second year participating in the project, and it was a fantastic outlet.

APRIL 16 – Opening of HOME INVASION

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After four years of working together, 6NewPlays, the playwright collective I was part of founding,  finally opened our inaugural production. HOME INVASION, by Chris Chen, was a site-specific existential romp that sold out before it even opened.

JUNE 1 – I moved!

Bye bye, Oakland, hello San Francisco! Although still mad love for the East Bae, but got to love being less than a block away from Golden Gate Park.

JULY 6 – Promoted to City News editor

After just three months at the Post, I was promoted to replace the long-time City Editor after she took a new position. Again, its been quite a fulfilling career move, and now I really know the difference between a burglary and a robbery.

AUGUST 5 – THE ICE CREAM SANDWICH INCIDENT opens

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The Ice Cream Sandwich Incident at FaultLine Theatre, San Francisco. 2016. (Photo Credit: FaultLine Theatre)

In August, my play THE ICE CREAM SANDWICH INCIDENT opened to very positive reviews and impressive houses at PianoFight theatre in downtown San Francisco. I’m am beyond grateful to FaultLine Theatre for taking a chance on this wacky, often dark piece, as well as for the solid work of director James Nelson, who left after opening weekend to start an MFA program at the University of Indiana. The piece got some revived attention in December, when Theatre Arts Daily declared it the “Best New Work” of 2016 and called it “aggressively bizarre and bizarrely aggressive.” It will forever be a highlight of my career as a dramatist.

NOVEMBER 4 – dark is a different beast opens

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Andrea Hart’s fiery “dark is a different beast”, the second production ever by 6NewPlays, opened in San Francisco, a huge success for us as a group. After so many years of planning and scheming, it was so awesome to see us actually pull through and put up an awesome new play more than once.

NOVEMBER 9 – Record breaking day for BarryEitel.com

I wrote a piece on theatre after the election that became my most viewed blog post since I humbly began this website in 2012. I mean, it didn’t get like an amazing amount of attention but a record is still a record. Oh yea and Donald Trump was elected president yikes!

DECEMBER 23 – The Chronicle loves THE SPEAKEASY

THE SPEAKEASY, a massively immersive theatrical wonder that I helped forged several years ago, reopened this year in a much larger space to raving reviews. As the original Head Writer of the piece, it was incredible to see it blossom once again.

AND A LOOK TO THE FUTURE

Some of what to look for in 2017:

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The first cast reading/playing of THE COOL.

  • THE COOL, a new jazz play with like 15 actors and lightly immersive staging, is opening at Amado’s in February.
  • My work will again appear at the TBA Conference as part of the Titan Showcase.
  • ISHTAR IN SYRIA (a working title), an allegory about the Syrian Civil War, will be part of the SF Olympians Festival in October. It’s my first time being part of the readings series, and I’m thrilled they were willing to take a chance on a piece on such an important subject for a full-length piece.
  • The march of 6NewPlays continues! Erin Bregman’s THAT IT ALL MAKES PERFECT will go up in two months, followed in the fall by Eugenie Chan’s MADAME HO. And….I’ll begin preparing for my 5 of the 6NP — CHAMPAGNE is scheduled to go ahead sometime next spring.

A Plea to the American Theatre in a Time of Trump: Please Smash the Social Media Echo Chamber

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Social media echo chambers led to Trump, can theatre help destroy them?

After an ecstatic early morning casting a vote for the first woman presidential candidate from a major party, I probably spent the late hours of Election Night 2016 like many others in the Bay Area: stunned, with a sense of dread gathering in the stomach and fielding a steady stream of woeful text messages.

Although I wanted to be close to people I love, I was stuck working. I’m the City News Editor at a small paper in the East Bay and we were wearily waiting to hear about City Council and School Board results as Donald Trump, the president-elect of these United States, gave his victory speech in New York City.

The number of think-pieces published today will probably be able to fill an encyclopedia set (that’s a freebie business idea for anyone looking to profit off liberal misery). The dirge of Facebook posts today is like the digital version of wearing a sackcloth and sitting in ashes.

Thinking, of course, is important. Mourning is important.

But I have the day off to wallow, and several questions have been buzzing around my head for the past 12 hours. I’m not much of a blogger, but I thought I would process these questions here, now.

What? How? Huh?

We were so sure! Some big deal media outlets said Trump had a 2% chance of winning! Sure, white people came out in droves yesterday for Trump, but he also made impressive gains among African-Americans and Hispanics! Clearly, nearly half the country thinks astoundingly differently than we do in America’s sapphire coastal metropolises and azure Midwest cultural capitals. We can wave away a lot of Trump’s support as based in racism and misogyny, sure, but I think it would be logically impertinent and artistically irresponsible to blame the whole phenomenon on this.

Why is the divide so surprising?

Trump’s breathtaking victory makes me think the Progressive Left saw the election completely differently than the rest of the country. The former includes many members of the media (as well as us theatre artists!), and it seemed we were astonishingly unable to really reach half of the electorate.

This could probably be called the first real social media election, especially with the rise of alt-right and itchy Twitter fingers of Trump himself. And this, evidently, is a catastrophic problem.

The algorithms powering Twitter and Facebook place us all in walled gardens of information, whether we like it or not. Many of us get a lot, if not all, of our news from our friends – think about how that could be a problem.

By creating these tailored-made echo chambers, social media presents a fundamentally different experience from cracking open the newspaper and pouring over its breadth of information. We can hem and haw about the importance of citizen journalists and the danger of information gate-keepers, but it doesn’t remove the fact that social media keeps us isolated in many, many ways.

To me, the echo chamber of social media has failed us in a few ways over the past year – it prevented those of us on the Left from understanding how much support Trump was truly gathering and it also prevented us from communicating with this surprising tide of Trump supporters who popped up yesterday seemingly out of nowhere.

I truly believe Progressive principles would resonate deeply with many Trump voters if communicated well. I have to believe this, as an artist, so I’m not here to argue this concept (although I’m sure there will be at least 110 to 200 articles about this very subject in that November 9, 2016 think-piece collection, if any willing entrepreneurs want to take that on).

What can playwrights and other theatre artists do about this?

Hey, what’s that 6,000 year artistic medium that requires everyone to get together in one area and be introduced to diverse stories and ideas? The one that is supposedly always on the verge of death? The one that by its very funding and granting nature is often far more diverse than blockbuster Hollywood cinema and dives deep into storylines the Big 3 networks would never touch?

The thing with Hamilton?

As you probably guess after just one of four rhetorical questions, I’m talking about The Theatre!!

I think theatre artists have a tremendous opportunity to break through the echo chambers that played a large part in the brazen and frightening election of Donald Trump.

Ok, bub, how could this chronically underfunded and under-attended art form possibly have an impact on the rise of Apprentice star, steak salesman and worryingly neofascist Donald Trump?

I’ll lay out my cards – I think the arts can defeat Trumpism. I think the arts can defeat ISIS. I think the arts can stem the receding tide of democracy seen around the world, from the Philippines to Kenya to Egypt to Singapore to Russia.

Maybe this makes me an idiot, but I already have a B.A. in theatre and I only have like four years of student loans left.

Here are some specific ways “Theatre in a Time of Trump” (now that’s a season announcement) could smash the echo chamber and, hopefully, actually impart a well-presented Progressive message that sticks, I think. And maybe we can actually play a part in ensuring Trump only (*yikes!*) leads the country for four years.

Diversify your characters

Like Van Jones powerfully said on CNN last night, Trump’s election seems like a “white-lash” —  a mandate from white voters who have are uncomfortable with idea of an African-American or woman in charge (as well as from dyed-in-the-wool KKK-style racists). Theatre has a great opportunity to combat this notion by normalizing a wide variety of races and genders in a myriad of roles. This has been trumpeted by many artists more elegantly spoken than I, but it bears repeating now.

-Diversify your storylines

Again, this concept has been pushed many times before in the past decade. But I think now we could use some stories that honestly explore what would attract someone to Trump’s worldview (or, at least, whatever is coherent about it) and how that interplays with the wider world. As always, we need more stories that detail the current issues faced by minorities and women in engaging ways.

-Stop preaching to the Progressive choir

Theatre sorely needs a diversity of viewpoints if it’s going to succeed in breaking the echo chambers. I’m not suggesting that we embrace Trumpism, but I think we can all agree there can be a lot more thematic diversity in the American theatre. I want ideas that articulately challenge the typical liberal point of view just as much as I want theatre that attacks the now extremely conservative status quo (well, maybe not just as much). Audiences crave more than just a living UpWorthy post.

These artistic goals are nothing new, but I think Trump’s election puts them in a new light, at least for me. I think theatre could provide a weighty counterpoint to Trumpism, and could push past the social media echo chambers we’ve undoubtedly become mired in.