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Essay by review  •  January 23, 2011  •  Essay  •  527 Words (3 Pages)  •  595 Views

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1) Some of the plays that fall within the theatre of diversity are intended to provoke strong responses from the audience. Sometimes the playwrights and performers do and say shocking things in order to make their point. This has led to condemnation from political and religious leaders and criticism of the National Endowment for the Arts for helping to fund such art. Discuss what purposes such shock tactics might have, and whether such art has value. Should it receive public funding?

In the history of theatre, especially the types of plays that fall within the theatre of diversity, playwrights and the performers have used this art form to do and/or say shocking things to get their points of view across to the public. This has led to a public outcry from political and religious leaders as well as criticism of the NEA for funding such art.

The purpose of utilizing shock tactics within an art form is two fold. One is to get your point across in a manner that will generate discussion and not soon be forgotten. Second, it is to generate publicity, thus increasing the odds that your play and its message will be seen and heard by a larger segment of the population.

Whether or not such a type of play is art and has artistic value is up to the individual experiencing the play. Art is just like beauty, which is to be found in the eye of the beholder. Some may find the material to be objectionable and others may find it to be acceptable. Regardless, of your point of view it is a fact that the first amendment protects freedom of speech, and plays are protected by this amendment. As long as the art does not violate any laws that were created by a majority of the public then it should be left to flourish or die as is appropriate.

Art should not be supported by the NEA or any other government body or institution, utilizing public funds. It should not be supported because public funds require public approval and trying to get a majority of people to agree on what is art, especially acceptable art is simply not possible. What offends one group pleases another, which is okay and is a great thing as it shows our diversity first hand. However it becomes a problem when you try to fund art with public monies. Another reason why art should not be funded is because art is about personal expression and should not be about pushing government propaganda or restricted by government rules



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