On April 30, 1971, a public debate on Women’s Liberation was held in New York City’s Town Hall. It was not an even match. On one side was Norman Mailer, who had just published The Prisoner of Sex; on the other, four leading feminists: NOW president Jacqueline Ceballos; Germaine Greer, author of The Female Eunuch; Village Voice columnist Jill Johnston; and literary critic Diana Trilling. In 1979, footage of the debate was released under the title Town Bloody Hall. This brilliant and sadly neglected documentary by D. A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus…shows Mailer at his most combative, struggling in vain to maintain his composure as the women mount a relentless offensive that includes incisive social commentary, sharp-edged wit, and a lesbian cuddle puddle. The following piece reflects on this occasion.
The O’Neill Theater Center recognized my play Jimmy Carter’s Table as a semifinalist in the 2014 National Playwrights Conference. It’s a chunky full-length about President Carter’s secret visits to two families living in an industrial area in Pennsylvania as he writes his “malaise” speech in 1979. The presidential soul-searching sets off a collision between the public servants and their angry citizens, hinging on race, radicalism, and political posturing . The process of writing this piece has been as a collaboration with a whole slew of artists– including Jocelyn Bioh, Ayesha Ngaujah, Tracy Hazas, Ben Beckley, Alexis McGuinness– brought together by director Niegel Smith.
Here are a few photos from the Summer 2013 Vox Theater development workshop, taken by photographer Rob Strong.
This past June, the fine blog, cac.ophony.org, received the John Lovas Memorial Academic Weblog Award from Kairos, A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy.
Cac.ophony.org has featured writing by the Schwartz Institute‘s Fellows and staff since 2005. I have long valued cac.ophony as a place to share ideas about teaching and writing, and am so glad that the muscle behind the blog received this recognition from Kairos.
My new full-length, Jimmy Carter’s Table, will be workshopped this summer in collaboration with director Niegel Smith.
The Dartmouth Department of Theater presents VoxFest, a laboratory festival for the development of innovative new projects initiated by Dartmouth alumni. Vox Theater will be in residence at Dartmouth from June 29-July 7, collaborating on seven new works with Dartmouth students, alumni and faculty.
David Parsons, a youngish professor of American history at CUNY and frequently horrified observer of the 21st century, invited me to don a headset for an episode of his unrelenting podcast, Topical Fever.
Art, politics, and growing up in Brooklyn. Magic, cowboy hats, and wanting to connect so badly. Listen here.