When is it worth it to take a stand?

By TACT staff

In On the Waterfront, the priest, Father Barry, encourages the longshoremen to take a stand against the corruption in their union by testifying to the Waterfront Crime Commission – but those who do so end up suffering for their efforts. The Reporter questions whether their sacrifices made any difference:

Okay, so we take it lying down. Let the mob run the waterfront arm-in-arm with the oh-so-respectable shippers. What do you want to bet, forty, fifty years from now they’ll still be arm-in-arm, with the greatest natural harbor in the world still one big cookie jar – our cookie jar – with their greedy hands in it?

Is it worth taking a stand, even when you know the odds are strong that your efforts won’t make any difference?

What comes to mind when you hear “the Sixties”?

By TACT staff
Little Murders

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Jules Feiffer’s Little Murders, set in 1966, presents us with a very different vision of an era that is often reduced to slogans such as flower power, drugs, rock ‘n roll, and the adage “If you can remember the sixties, then you weren’t there.”

What comes to mind when you hear “the sixties”?

The Country Girl: Are creativity and addiction connected?

By TACT staff
Country Girl

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Many of us have known addicts like The Country Girl’s Frank Elgin: talented and amiable in public, but in private, woefully dependent on loved ones who spend much of their time working to maintain the polite facade. Georgie Elgin believes personal problems fueled her husband’s alcoholism and wrecked his career:

UNGER: Tell me….why did Frank begin to drink?

GEORGIE: There’s no one reason a man becomes a drinker. You should know that — you’re a writer, Mr. Unger. Looking back . . . I’d say bad judgment started him off. He had some money once, but you don’t know my Frank — he wanted to be his own producer — eighty thousand went in fifteen months, most of it on two bad shows.  I didn’t know a thing about it — he was afraid to tell me. A year later we lost our child . . . it was awesome how he went for the bottle . . . he just didn’t stop after that.

Frank Elgin might be a forerunner of contemporary celebrities whose calamities become tabloid fodder.  These days, not a week seems to go by without our hearing about another entertainer’s substance abuse problem.  Why might this be?

Some psychologists believe that creative people feel more intensely.  The late Polish psychiatrist Kazimierz Dabrowski wrote that talented people may experience “increased mental excitability, depressions, dissatisfaction with oneself, feelings of inferiority and guilt, states of anxiety, inhibitions, and ambivalences — all symptoms which the psychiatrist tends to label psychoneurotic.”   As intense and sensitive people, artists may self-medicate to dampen these uncomfortable feelings.

Are creative people more prone to addictions than others?
What do you think?

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The Country Girl plays at Gunston Theater II through October 8, 2001.