Well, I finally caught up with PATRIOT ACT last night. It was the first time I saw it in the new space, with the new format.
It is now finally the event I had imagined it might be. And I don’t say this lightly. In my experience, almost never does the realization of a project achieve the glorious vision I have in mind. And you and Mark have done it.
New York Theater Workshop
Vince and I were both wowed by Mark Crispin Miller. I left the theatre shaking. I wish the show could reach a larger audience.
Congratulations to you all on a really informative, well done evening.
Good to see you as well. Please pass my kudos on to Steve - thanks.
We saw Patriot Act last night at the Workshop and were moved, frightened, incited to action and educated.....and entertained.
Dear Jim and Linda,
I saw Patriot Act last night, and really loved it. Actually, it is probably more accurate to say I was terrified by it. I have (like many of us) had lots of "Bush moments." I, too, have thought I was going crazy. I've have actually been scared during Bush's presidency, but I haven't been able to figure out why. I never liked Reagan, but I wasn't actually terrified when he was president. During "Reagan death week" I found myself feeling nostalgic for Reagan. Nostalgic?? For Reagan?!? That's a sure sign of a deteriorating mind, I thought. But now I understand my nostalgia: Mark Miller was able to articulate for me the fundamental difference between a republican president who still believes in democracy, and a man who ultimately doesn't believe in democracy at all. That's the difference I was experiencing in my gut during "Reagan death week." It's palpable.
I resist easy jokes about fascism because I think the word fascism needs to be used seriously. It needs to be saved for moments when there really is a threat of fascism. Gulp. We're there.
When did we become the nation that tortures prisoners? When did we become the nation the Red Cross keeps tabs on? When did we become the nation that holds political prisoners in Guantanamo without charging them, much less giving them a right to trial? When did we become the nation that steals elections? When did we become the nation that cancels elections? When did we become the nation that tramples civil rights? When did we become the nation that tries to introduce a constitutional amendment reducing civil rights instead of broadening them?
I disagree with your statement that Patriot Act is not theatre. It is theatre. It is good theatre. Nonetheless, I applaud you for producing this piece of so-called non-theatre in a theatre. I can't think of a single other artistic director who has considered putting something non-theatrical on their stage as part of their season. Much less done it. Perhaps this will start a new trend. Who says that theatres should always produce theatre? Why theatres produce political analysis and commentary?
Thank you for producing this play. Thanks to everyone who worked on it. I am grateful, and galvanized.
Thanks and love,
Erin B. Mee
Just saw your show at NYTW and my head is still reeling. I feel like someone turned on all the lights at once when I'd been stumbling around in the dark for a long time. I feel anxious and in shock, grateful and panicked. For years I've been trying to explain to friends, parents and co-workers what I've sensed is going on with this strange administration, their hidden agendas and crooked underhanded syntax to circumvent democratic process (activist judges?), but like the blind men trying to describe the elephant I could only get parts of it right. Your presentation unveiled the whole elephant! In full GOP ferocity. It was satisfying and terrifying, simple and complex…
You have scared the shit out of me, and made it clear I can't just sit back and watch this campaign just happen.
Thank you so much for your play, "A Patriot Act: A Public Meditation". I don't know if you remember, but I am the Middlebury student who came with my three friends and commented on our apolitical generation. Your lecture/play was inspirational, thoughtful, scary, but hopeful...my friends and I left feeling angry, educated, but empowered...empowered by the knowledge we can make a difference, that we have voices---and we can vote. We see that it is our duty until the November elections to reach out to as many college students as possible---encouraging them through enlightening, thoughful media about the corruption of the Bush administration. We know that our efforts do not end there--the next step is to get the right person in the office: REGIME CHANGE STARTS AT HOME!
Alex Castillo-Kesper, '05
I loved your show.
By the way, before I start, I would like to say that I am a registered Republican, from a family of at least 3 generations of registered Republicans. I think of myself as a Rockefeller Republican.
To start, watching your show, I could not believe that someone else had completed such an analysis of what has been happening. It's like a light has been lit down a long, dark hallway and I can finally start to see where we may be going. You mean I am not crazy for wondering about these things ?
I think it is important your message gets out so that others can also realize that they are not crazy either. I've had many a Bush moment, not realizing what it was. Now I have a name for it.
Thanks for your time and thank you for being such a Patriot.
I want to congratulate you on an amazing show- really chilling and eye opening in many cases. I have spent the last hour emailing a recommendation to all my people to see your piece before it closes...
Big bravo to you!! and thank you for an education, which I hope to share with others and look into the new news sources you generously provided.
With much admiration,
My husband and I were at wednesday's performance, along with 2 friends, one from the NY civil liberties board, and his wife, also a lawyer, who had been executive director of LI civil liberties before she went to law school. We have not stopped discussing your thesis. We have all been recommending it to lots of people…
We are subscribers at the NYTW, two couples, and we find that the work produced at your venue is some of the best and most provocative in the City. We are bored with reruns and risk-free theater. We thoroughly engaged with Mark Crispin Miller and Steve Cuiffo last night in the Patriot Act: A Public Meditation...
Thank you for your determined and disciplined opposition.
Hazel Weiser and Jordan Glaser
Stu and Ginger Polisner
…I just saw Patriot Act this afternoon. It completely took me off guard. While I don't consider myself terribly well-informed, I have managed to cultivate a rather intelligent form of peripheral osmosis. I'm angry, yet am strangely NOT drawn to Dubya - I can't look at him or listen to him. I found most of what you said validating, but halfway through almost broke down in tears at your resolution that "they" will win no matter what. The media, the reconstructionists, the electronic voting - these are things I either did not consider or underestimated. As soon as you stated these things, I knew you were right. Shattering.
You may remember me as the rather excited (and regrettably intrusive) woman who wanted very much to shake your hand at the conclusion of the performance of "Patriot Act" Friday evening. Although the program notes say that it "is not a work of theater," I think it's absolutely one of the best -- if not the best -- production I've seen at NYTW, to which I'm a longtime subscriber. I was completely mesmerized and alternately amused, horrified, and infuriated. Of course, as you said, you are preaching to the converted, but there are many of us among the converted who know we dislike Bush et al., although we really don't quite know the exact details of how he has subverted our democracy even though we are devout readers of the Times and routinely shun Fox News. You certainly took care of that for me...
Congratulations on your excellent production.
I just saw Patriot Act, which is running at New York Theatre Workshop through July 22. YOU MUST SEE IT. It's as much a political lecture/discussion as it is a theatre event, and it is the most coherent articulation of a right-wing conspiracy theory I have yet encountered…This show is the perfect main course to follow the intellectual appetizer of Fahrenheit 9/11. Miller's rhetorical style is somewhat more thoughtful and reasoned than Michael Moore's, and yet he draws more far-reaching and ominous conclusions. You should make every effort to see this show while it's still there, but if you can't make it, Miller's books are available at bookstores.
I attended Patriot Act on Friday, June 25th and I am grateful to you for the presentation and for what you are doing. I am a Christian, and a Democrat. I appreciated your brief "Bible study" and wanted to suggest to you that a very important verse that many of my brethren to the right seem to have forgotten about, but which is so a propos to this moment: "Beware of wolves in sheeps' clothing." (Matthew 7:15).