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Postmodern Realism

engender controversy over issues for which the playwright has no solution

Rorschach play

Rorschach test-
personality test where people interpret inkblots in different ways
Oleanna is like an inkblot-
in which different viewers see very different things

Oleanna controversy over:

poltical corrrectness
gender conflict
views of power and sexism (patriarchal society)

Postmodern Minimalism

leaves much of the interpretation open to the viewer


an interpretation becomes much more difficult when
there is no single agreed upon standard or point of view
= continual conflict between groups

Free Speech

1st amendment in the constitution
leads to many conflicts

Clarence Thomas vs. Anita Hill

Clarence Thomas African American Judge
nominated to the Supreme Court
Anita Hill a law professor
Thomas allegedly had subjected Hill to prolonged
and consistent sexual harrassment
when she was his assistant a few years earlier
Thomas denied all accusations

Anita Hill:

"I think he wanted to see me vulnerable and that,
if I were vulnerable,
then he could extract whatever he wanted,"


in a two person confrontation
each might see the events entirely differently


Carol thinks answers are either right or wrong
"I did what you told me.."


stage after dualism
could be plenty of answers
'everyone has their own point of view'


stage after multiplicity
different starting points give different points of view


stage after relativism
accepting one framework out of many
within which you find a basis
for choices of right and wrong

John's version of education

education should teach you to think for yourself
however as Carol is at the stage of dualism
this is incomprehendable

Stanislavski (1863- 1928)

actors should e more subtle than obvious
should look realistic on stage


believed that everyone's identity and power changes
depending on who they engage with,
circumstances and self image
it is not fixed

Realistic Dialogue

Carol often fails to communicate
conveyed through stops, interruptions and false starts

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