SINKIEWICZ: Proposal for new play about Donald Trump
Opinions Column: People And ...
In these dark times, one can expect little from their government.
When a mango Mussolini is running our government and individuals like Pence can’t take any sort of statement from a theatrical production without there being massive Twitter backlash, it’s time to turn to your local news. I’m thankful that the Targum won’t be censored, but for how long I’m not sure. I know my article doesn’t innately focus on politics, but I’m going to take that route today and attempt to pursue a more serious veil.
With the election of Donald Trump, every hateful bigoted thing he has said has been verified and with acts of violent hate crimes rising in the past few days after the election (albeit declining now) there is much concern. The statement made after the Hamilton production towards Mike Pence, the Vice President-elect is completely founded and fair.
I find it very ironic that Republicans vicariously repudiate safe spaces as a concept but are incredibly offended by protests and a theatrical statement post-Hamilton (an amazing musical by the way, go see it if you have $1,000 to spend on a ticket — I wish I could go). The theater is an amazing forum of self-expression. From the beautiful Broadway strip to Shakespeare’s theater in England, there is a certain universality behind theater.
However, at the same time, theater is subjective in its nature, and perhaps that is why we as people are drawn to it and should be concerned about Trump's reaction. The attempt to boycott arguably one of the most successful and brilliantly written productions in all of theatrical history is an indirect infringement of the right to self-expression. It's not as if the boycott will work. This production has been sold out for quite awhile and I don’t perceive that changing since there is a long line of people waiting to see it still and I don’t believe most Trump supporters are theater connoisseurs. But the attempt ties back to the problematic notion that a simple speech or, perhaps in this case, plea isn’t acceptable. It can be argued that the cast's decision represents a deviation from normally acceptable discourse, but due to the individual and political undertones it was directed at, there is an outrage. In response to this outrage there is a "name a Pence musical" twitter trend happening, and I would like to propose a musical of my own.
I call it Trump the Musical. It starts with a performative piece consisting of the Orange Man Group (analogous to the blue man group). The story focuses on a boy with small hands who attempts to rise to the top and strikes it lucky when his father leaves him a small inheritance of $1 million “Luck: be part of the Capitalist System.” The seeming hero of the story becomes a villain, exploiting the capitalist system and cheating individuals out of millions for his own gain, the song for this section of course being “$525,600 million.” Ultimately he lies to the people and hates his life more, spiraling into a aggressive cycle. In the end Trump transforms into a Dragon who is killed in four years by the new protagonist, Reason and his sidekick Empathy to the sound of “O Fortuna.” This is not meant to be a sarcastic jibe towards our current presidential situation, but it is merely an idea to emphasize to importance of self-expression.
We should not attempt to limit non-destructive speech against our government because in doing so we limit ourselves and our forms of expression. Theater isn’t always a place to feel safe - it's a place to explore ideas, to make declarations. In fact, if theater makes you feel uncomfortable, it’s probably having an important theatrical impact on you as an individual.
So no, cast of Hamilton, you should not apologize, and no, Republicans or Pence supporters, you should not be angry or disturbed because at the end of this argument your allegedly “hands-off” approach is limiting our liberties.
Zachary Sinkiewicz is a School of Arts and Sciences senior majoring in English and history with a minor in political science. His column, "People and ..." runs on alternate Mondays.
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