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Monday, 09 October 2006



Hi Tboy,

My guess is that Durang and Norman knew that the playwright's subsidiary income was off the table but were really annoyed that such a “contrary-to-mission-item” was put on the table in the first place. So the “subsidiary income” was used as straw dog in order to flex their muscles. Muscles not as playwrights, but as teachers of playwrights, the young talents that make the O’Neill relevant. The muscle flexing was a political maneuver insuring they will have ongoing “veto power” over policy at the O’Neill should any other contrary-to-mission-items appear again.

You are of course right that neither Durang nor Norman nor the other 20 playwrights writing letters would know the Guild president had bad info. Why? Well, because the info was not about an Ayatollah who issued a fatwa calling for the killing of a playwright, but was about an incompetent critic in Chicago reviewing workshop productions. Not much to write home about, but the 22 playwrights tried anyway. Some of the adjectives they invented:
“obscene” “scary” “shocking” “destructive ” “appalling” “outrage” “act of vandalism”

The propensity toward finding a scapegoat and the ease in which the lynch mob can be formed bothers me.


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