Contributed by Guest Blogger of the week, John Patrick Bray.
Hello, all. Today’s blog will be a bit brief. I was watching the election results from across the country, and there have been a number of upsets, and a number of surprise victories (and depending which side of the equation you find yourself on, the two may not be mutually exclusive). One of the people who read and commented on my blog regarding Regional Theatre was Jason Loewith, the Executive Director of the National New Play Network. I asked him if he had considered the definition of an American playwright. Today, I would just like to pose the same question to everyone here.
When I was a little boy, I said the pledge of allegiance every day at school. Sometimes we sang “God Bless America” or “Yankee Doodle Dandy.” I never doubted my feelings of patriotism. As I grew older, I grew more skeptical due to the various administrations that I watched come and go, each bringing a hidden agenda that lead to war, greed, and corruption. Now that I’m even older, an historian, and a parent, I find myself wanting to reclaim the word “American” and look being an American as something to be proud of. In this regard, I want to include all of the Americas, not just the U.S. There are many of us who are entitled to the word, and at the risk of exposing my politics, there are many more who should be.
My question to you is: what is it, in your opinion, to be an American? How does this play out in your art? How does the idea of being American play out in theatre you have seen or that you have been a part of?
I have enjoyed writing these blogs. I look forward to wrapping it up tomorrow!
Best to you and yours,
John P. Bray