Just like the Terminator, Jesus promised, in the end, that he would be back. But unlike the Terminator, he hasn’t made good on his word. Not yet. Or has he? Maybe he’s back. Maybe he’s in isolation in a US prison, a repressed woman in Saudi Arabia or under house arrest in China. Or maybe he’s a persecuted homosexual in Russia.
Maybe Marilyn Monroe was Jesus? We took her, humiliated her, disgraced her and crucified her, to great applause. And then rewrote her history. We abused her and then turned her into a sex symbol. She suffered the same fate as Jesus—underdogs usually don’t stand a chance outside of stories and movies. Frodo would have never prevailed in reality. The ring would have swallowed him whole, like it did Marilyn and Jesus, and Sauron would have ruled Middle Earth, as he does most places.
Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.
When we took Shakespeare’s “Measure for Measure” into a maximum security woman’s prison on the West Side…there’s a scene there where a young woman is told by a very powerful official that “If you sleep with me, I will pardon your brother. And if you don’t sleep with me, I’ll execute him.” And he leaves the stage. And this character, Isabel, turned out to the audience and said: “To whom should I complain?” And a woman in the audience shouted: “The Police!” And then she looked right at that woman and said: “If I did relate this, who would believe me?” And the woman answered back, “No one, girl.” And it was astonishing because not only was it an amazing sense of connection between the audience and the actress, but you also realized that this was a kind of an historical lesson in theater reception. That’s what must have happened at The Globe. These soliloquies were not simply monologues that people spoke, they were call and response to the audience. And you realized that vibrancy, that that sense of connectedness is not only what makes theater great in prisons, it’s what makes theater great, period.