'Political Theater Live' from X
May 22, 2004 10:59 AM
SF State students and faculty members of the theater and arts department staged a political theater show last Thursday afternoon at Malcolm X plaza.
The 15-member group, including two professors, known as Political Theater Live presented The Gubanator as a way to create awareness of California’s budget cuts through a different medium.
Live theater allows for issues to be presented from a different angle, Senior Michael Uy Kelly, one of the two actors portraying Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in the performance, said.
“I think with protesting you either listen right away or not,” he said. “Theater gets people hooked into the story, not giving them time to shut it off or shut it out.”
The second of the two Schwarzeneggers, Gene Ketcherside, said a speaker who goes up on stage and rants evokes emotion, while a stage performance lends itself to more possibilities to portray emotions, because characters are created that are relevant to the idea. So the audience is exposed to a lot of different emotions that are associated with the policies that are coming from our government and the direct effect it has on the average person.
“The audience has an opportunity to relate to the people that are being affected,” he said. “Of course our campus is experiencing it first hand, so I guess the next step would be to try to get the message to people who maybe aren't thinking about this every day."
The idea of taking the Political Theater Live group off campus and presenting the performance to crowds who are not necessarily thinking or agree with the subject matter was also on the mind of Professor Carlos Baron, who portrayed Satan in a sketch.
There is no guarantee the group is going to be supported and nurtured the way they were here, Baron said. It was great to be able to take advantage of the microphones and technical support, but he wonders how they’re going to do it when they just show up at a location unannounced and go off.
“I always say we (performing arts) should be as important as the garbage collector, because people think about garbage every week. If we can have people thinking about theater that way in society… we would be in good shape, but we're not there; we're not essential,” Baron explained. “Therefore we need to go out and develop audiences, we need to go out and do outreach, and we also need to do something for our ideals.”
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