In This Play, the Writing's on the Wall
By admin on Mar 19, 2015 | In Performing Arts
What is theater if not an opportunity to raise consciousness and sometime stir up controversy?
Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre's young adult program produced a play titled This Is Modern Art (Based on True Events), by Kevin Coval and Idris Goodwin. The "art" to which the title refers is graffiti.
Granted, graffiti isn't everyone's idea of art. The fact is, there's so much in the way of different styles of art that it's difficult to say any one of them will appeal to everyone on an equal basis. One man's Picasso is another man's poorly drawn woman.
However, with graffiti we're talking about something that isn't just a matter of artistic taste. We're also talking about something that's, from a technical standpoint, illegal when, uninvited, it's applied to public and private property. Some term it street art. Others call it vandalism.
That's the thing that irked two of Chicago's major newspaper's theater critics, both of whom commented in their reviews that the play romanticized graffiti--something they considered to be not a good message for the Windy City's youth.
According to a story in the Washington Post, within hours the theaters and their youthful supporters were online villifying the critics for their comments about the show's message. The article further says that, although the show has closed, the controversy continues online.
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