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Art and emergency
Since the 2016 election I’ve kept asking myself how artists should respond in time of political crisis.  I sat down with singer-songwriter-satirist Roy Zimmerman last summer to kick it around—he sure had known what to do, but then he had been doing it all along.  Popping a demagogue’s balloon was nothing new for Roy.

I admire New York’s Public Theatre and others for having mounted productions of, say, Julius Caesar with thinly-veiled contemporary references, a brave act that cost them financial support.

But it took me until 2019 to find my own way, when I wrote my third children’s Christmas pageant for my hometown UU congregation, setting it in two venues: a Bethlehem stable and King Herod’s court. It’s been controversial. First a person of color took offense to some of the language (e.g., “boss-man”), intimating that even in a liberal and justice-seeking denomination there should be no room for politics. Then religious educators got hold of it. After I was forced to delete references to the Slaughter of the Innocents (Matthew 2:16 ff), which children raised on the Brothers Grimm and Fortnight somehow can’t handle, we still had to smooth over any notion that harm might come to Jesus.  Wait till Good Friday, I say.  Meanwhile, my Herod threatens to put the Wise Men in cages since they’re not from around here.

So no, it’s not easy being real.

Why I’m here
I like to make people laugh and cry, so I play a fair amount of music and, however desultorily, write—plays, personal essays, stories, all sorts of stuff.  On the cusp of early old age, I still read my drafts aloud, bellowing and howling up in my atelier, rather to my family’s dismay.

Creating a character

Why you’re here
Come look over my shoulder if you like, fall off your chair. I value an audience, and I need help to make something beautiful, terrible, or epiphanic. Give me your clear-eyed attention, your honesty. That’s all I ask. Note the “Contact me” page.