Radical Comedy: homeless & psychiatric survivors' theatre FWD

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Mon, 9 Feb 1998 08:50:40 -0800 (PST)

FWD:  REPLY TO author Rick Mitchell <RICKMITCH@aol.com>

NOTE: I wrote Rick asking permission to publish his post below on HPN.
      He relpied:

Sure, Tom.  But could you attribute the "article" to me, Rick Mitchell?  Also,
I've written/directed some plays with formerly homeless (and survivors of the
mental health system)  people.  The plays (REASON OF INSANITY; BEHIND-THE-
SCENES) were satirical critiques of the mental health system, and of society's
attitudes towards the homeless and mentally ill, and the plays worked really
well: in large theaters, in shelters, hospitals, etc.  I've also written a
couple of plays focusing on inner-city conflicts (URBAN RENEWAL; THE GULF)
that have been performed on the street, as well as in theaters.  Do you know
of any groups that might be interested in possibly putting on one of these
plays?  Let me know.

Rick Mitchell


Radical comedy is possible, necessary. And it's right there, on the TV, in
the street, the kitchen. It's just a matter of being perceptive, and taking
what's there and twisting it a bit in order to show the truth beneath the

Example from a play of mine: (A potential employer won't hire a homeless
woman, Angel. Because she's so persistent, the employer calls the police. A
cop arrives, the woman explains why she should be given a chance and she
refuses to leave. The cop eventually asks her...) COP: Do you want to take
a ride to the precinct? ANGEL: Are you hiring anybody down there?

Comedy can point to the ridiculousness of aspects of our world that we
accept as truth. And because what "society" says is true is so far removed
from "truth," creating comedy out of everyday life is not all that
difficult. Certainly, comedy can be both political and funny, particularly
if the right people are watching...


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