Free Speech and the Theatre

Just a quick note because in about five minutes I’m going to at least go through the motions and pretend to work. We all have our pet issues and as many people her know free speech has been one of mine since the late nineteen seventies. For most of my life it’s been an absurdly easy position for me since there have been comparatively few threats to free speech in the U.S. and many of those have come from non-governmental sources like radical feminists.

We occasionally hear calls from the radical left to limit speech they don’t like, however it has not made significant headway in the U.S. despite the Orwellian labeling of such speech as “hate speech.” However, in other countries that is not the case.

Can anyone in the United States even imagine working on a play and having the police come in and ask what you are doing? That is exactly what Omar El-Khairy, the writer of a play called Homeland claims:

El-Khairy said: “In a production meeting we were asked by NYT and stage management that the police wanted to look at the script, though we don’t know where that came from or who led that conversation.” (Source.)

The play apparently had an innovative form of staging in the hallways of a school. Audiences would walk through the corridors and witness conversations among the cast. According to the director Nadia Latif, “The whole point was that it was more of a kaleidoscopic exploration of the treatment of homegrown radicalisation and to explore the breadth of opinion that is out there, and that the young people find themselves subject to.”

Ironically, below that article, The Guardian suggested some other articles that might interest me including “Play in Uganda cancelled after regulators step in.”

Laws against speech are inherently always in support of the politically powerful and against the politically weak.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: