Two New Kushner Plays—One for Spinella, One for Laura Bush—Ready for Production

News   Two New Kushner Plays—One for Spinella, One for Laura Bush—Ready for Production
The busy Tony Kushner—he of the perhaps Broadway-bound Caroline, or Change and the critical and commercial smash television film of "Angels in America"—has two new plays ready to go, long titles and all.
Stephen Spinella
Stephen Spinella Photo by Aubrey Reuben

First to see a theatre will probably be Only We Who Guard the Mystery Shall Be Unhappy, the political play that has been read in bits and pieces on various stages in the past year or so. In it, First Lady Laura Bush—a former teacher—is shown reading a section of "The Brothers Karamazov" to the dead children of Iraq. Kushner told the Hartford Courant, "If I finish it I'm just going to give it to anyone who wants to do it before next year's election." If it is staged, it will be the playwright's second work to address the policies of the Bush White House, after Homebody/Kabul, which depicted a small group of Americans stumbling through the alien and tragic culture of Afghanistan. The show premiered Off-Broadway at a time when America's military conflict with Afghanistan was much in the news. (Kushner, however, wrote the play long before that war occurred, making its political prescience accidental.)

The dramatist's second new play has the typically long-winded Kushnerian title of The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide to Capitalism and Socialism With a Key to the Scriptures. Kushner said it will be done at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles as part of artistic director Gordon Davidson's farewell season in the spring of 2005.

The play was written for Stephen Spinella, the original Prior Walter in both parts of the Broadway production of Angels in America. Spinella won two Tony Awards for his work in those plays.

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