I am a little amazed at the brouhaha raised over the fact that an actor stepped out in costume and spoke directly to the audience about a current political problem on Broadway, This was a practice that became expected in the theatres of London after Ben Jonson presented a spoken EPILOGUE to his play Cynthia's Revels(1600). During the Restoration Epilogues used as political commentaries became common on the British stage. Epilogues were speeches that addressed political realities and were part of the understanding that theatre formed an occasion for the political and ethical as well as emotional and psychological education of the spectator.
Let's be accurate and recount what actually happened after the performance of HAMILTON when the actor playing the role of Aaron Burr stepped forward in costume and spoke to the audience at the play's curtain. He was not rude or loud--he was asked to speak on behalf of the show's producers, he spoke directly to Vice-President elect Pence.Here's the transcript of what Dixon said to the new vice president-elect on behalf of the Hamilton cast:
Thursday, January 5, 2017
Shooting water guns at an ecstatic crowd, Tristan Thompson is making his way through the streets of Cleveland. They are celebrating in Cleveland and I am celebrating with them. I am watching NBA TV. What a relief to see a city celebrating instead of grieving; to see a people proud of who they are and what they have accomplished. This feels like a salve to the open wounds of terror and fear that have afflicted our nation,
That National Victory means so much to Cleveland, and it means so much to me. It seems to hold out a promise to me and to all people who feel defeated--VICTORY IS POSSIBLE!
I wrote that last year and never posted it--when led by LeBron James The Cavaliers were the best team in the NBA. Now we are preparing for another celebration of another type of victory as Donald Trump prepares to take over the reins of the American government, Instead of helping our nation to heal each day we're bombarded with more sabre-rattling and threats about nuclear re-armament and the un -leashing of another Arms Race. We have the President-Elect questioning the findings of our 17 national security organizations. These are scary times.
I try to counter my distress with my usual self- comforting thoughts.
1.I do not believe that we live in a malevolent universe.
2. The arc of human history is always towards freedom --although it seems to be flat-lining right now.
3. The arc of time is towards an eternity of Universal Restoration--that I must own is a statement of Faith.
I choose to believe that evolution is a positive advance towards human perfection that will unite us with Divine Perfection.
Or as GK Chesterton so well said--
"IF SEEDS IN THE BLACK EARTH CAN TURN INTO SUCH BEAUTIFUL ROSES, WHAT MIGHT NOT THE HEART OF MAN BECOME IN OUR LONG JOURNEY TO THE STARS?"