Oregon Shakespeare Festival's production ofEquivocation
By Bill Cain
Directed by Bill Rauch
Illustration by Tim O'Brien
PENS AND POLITICS: THE ART OF HISTORY
How does politics shape art? And how does art shape history? Though set millennia and many miles apart, Amy Freed’s You, Nero and Bill Cain’s Equivocation both grapple with these questions, questions that remain all too relevant in 21st century Washington. Arena Stage is proud to bring together Gerald Rafshoon (producer and former White House communications director under President Carter), actor Danny Scheie (Nero in You, Nero) and Amrita Ramanan (Arena Stage’s literary manager) in a conversation moderated by Jamie Bennett (chief of staff and director of public affairs at the National Endowment for the Arts) about the art of making history and the politics of making art, from ancient Rome to Jacobean London and beyond. RSVP by calling the Sales Office at 202-488-3300.
WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 18, 5-6 p.m.
WHERE: Arena Stage’s Kogod Cradle
COST: FREE! No Ticket Required
Originally equivocation meant a way of attempting to tell the truth in the face of a false question. The original meaning can be best illustrated by using an example from World War II. If – in 1943 – you were working at 263 Prinsengracht in Amsterdam and the Gestapo came to your door and asked, “Are you hiding Anne Frank in your attic,” what would the true answer be? The literal truth? Or questioning the validity of the question – equivocating – asking yourself what they are really asking.
I am grateful to be taking the journey of Equivocation (with its extraordinary original creators) in a time when the questions being placed to us do not seem to me to be the real ones. I am grateful once again to be traveling with Shag and his wonderful company of actors, and with Garnet and his terrible aloneness, seeking the questions beneath the questions and seeking the courage to answer them honestly and with our lives.