By J. Chris Westgate
Deciding upon a terror in regards to the nature and structure of urbanism in North American plays, Westgate examines how towns like ny urban and l. a. grew to become focal issues for identification politics and social justice on the finish of the 20 th century, and the way city crises tell the dramaturgy of up to date playwrights.
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Extra resources for Urban Drama: The Metropolis in Contemporary North American Plays
22 Without a place literally (a home) and ﬁguratively (in society), the homeless were hounded through propaganda, legislation, and policing during the 1980s. Throughout this campaign Koch cast himself as an absurd Dr. Stockmann from Henrik Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People and the homeless as poisoning the waters of New York City. Koch was, to many, defending the tidy world of the middle class from the intrusion of aberrance into public space. But to Rivera, Koch’s campaign suggests something considerably more cynical and more dangerous, something that he described during another interview shortly after the New York debut of Marisol.
Although Marisol never uses split-staging, it relies on juxtaposition and superimposition diachronically. The scenes in Marisol’s journey are set against traditional signiﬁers of urbanism: a brick wall with boarded windows, a garbage dumpster, a sidewalk—each of which is redeﬁned by the encounters that occur before them. Visually, audiences are presented with scenes they should recognize and then made to see them again—from the perspective of the homeless in Rivera’s play. Considered together, the sociospatial structures of Marisol and Angels in America serve three ends.
In this deﬁnition of New York City is some explanation about the deliberate delaying of the New York production: Kushner was worried—unnecessary, it turned out— about the critical and public reception of a play that confronts audiences with the often brutal reality of AIDS—in Prior’s body—and the callousness of Reagan’s conservatives—in Roy Cohn, the closeted and self-hating gay. Rightly or wrongly, Kushner believed that San Francisco was a more “congenial place” for the play and sounded almost relieved when San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theater (ACT) mounted a revival in 1994.