The state of modern playwriting is in a shambles and I blame the Left.  Who else is there to blame? The Right has been shut out of the arts by design, so our representation is extremely limited: there’s not enough of us to create the state of contemporary playwriting badness.  On the rare occasion that a conservative playwright actually submits a play, the hegemonic Left rejects it using two excuses with equal vigor: 1) The plays written by conservatives are mean, nasty, homophobic, misogynistic, racist, and, of course, white supremacist, and therefore cannot be staged or 2) The plays themselves, despite being all of the above, are not technically proficient, and therefore cannot be staged. The latter is the “professional” excuse; the former is what they’re really thinking.  This leaves the conservative playwright with little hope of being noticed, let alone respected.[1]

Granted, I have read and seen enough original plays to know that all-too often the technical definition is a very good reason to reject plays for production.  But it simply cannot be that only plays by conservative writers fail as plays.  Left-wing writers (an oxymoron, usually) are just as capable of writing dreck as anyone else.  In fact, because left-wing plays dominate the left-wing theatre world, a very large percentage of them suck as plays.  Lefty producers, enamored by the progressive themes and anti-conservative bias of such plays, apparently overlook this lack of playwriting skill.  What this has led to, I believe, is the preponderance of bad plays, which, in turn, has accelerated a weakening in the collective skill of playwriting.

Editor’s note: click here for Part 1 in this series on ideology and theatre today, “Just What Is Conservative Theatre Anyway?”

Recently, I attended an audition for local theatre companies in my neck of the woods.  Aside from actors with varying degrees of proficiency on display, there were also a good number of monologues with varying degrees of proficiency being offered by the hopeful auditionees.  Because I believe that the playwright is the true and primary artist of the theatre, I paid a great deal of attention to those monologues and their levels of ability.  The audition pieces solidified my already-firm conviction that writing well is a rare skill. Almost to a person, the actors spewed monologues that reeked of the left-wing vision of the world.  What is this vision?  It is one where sex is gratuitous; meaningless, transitory relationships are fodder for an evening in the theatre; and characters exist in a world of neuroses, most of which are never the fault of their own poor choices. In the progressive world, we are all adrift in madness, redemption is never a possibility, and the poor, misunderstood protagonist is really a terrific person with great potential, hampered only by the madness of the world.  I see this paradigm so often, I’m almost numb to it.  Almost.

One monologue was about a young woman trying to get her—I dunno—friend, lover, paramour, one-night stand, to stay with her.  She even counts to 10, which was the longest recitation of that numerical sequence I’ve ever sat through.  Of course, she is shaken, lost, and fearful without him, which goes to prove that even meaningless, uncommitted sex is better than being alone.  Another monologue talked about the joys of a perfectly fine relationship, which, of course, included casual sex.  Yet another sang the praises of flatulence, which demonstrates how one can assert oneself noisily without ever saying a word.  We had obvious psychopaths hoping to kill; misguided failures nevertheless declaring their unrivaled worth; and an endless slew of “why would you break up with me when I’m so sensational?” monologues. It’s hard to get a sense of acting potential when the material used to determine that potential is garbage.

Here are some examples of contemporary monologues that are simply terrible.  Note the neuroses, the descent into near-insanity, and the pathetic characters who want an audience to dignify a failed existence:





I return, therefore, to my original thesis: playwriting is in terrible shape and the Left is to blame. One could easily also blame television sitcoms, Saturday Night Live, and Hollywood for the dearth of good writing.  But that doesn’t dilute my argument one bit: guess who owns the media and Hollywood?  That’s right: our friends on the left!  In what has all the makings of a truly terrifying horror movie, the Left perpetuates itself with every convert to its tempting message of universal love and a borderless world.  Indoctrinations start in grade school (these days, kindergarteners get sex education) and carries through the young life of malleable minds.  By the time these zombies get to near-adulthood, we have a population of Antifa sympathizers: ignorant, unenlightened, and—to add insult to injury—really bad writers.[2]

But there is hope! Conservative playwrights can make a conscious effort to avoid bad playwriting by recognizing it and saying to themselves, “That’s not gonna be me!”  More importantly, even if technique needs work, conservative playwrights should not be afraid to submit, to keep at it, and to write something beyond odd hang-ups and going-nowhere relationships.  We should embrace the things about society at large that upset us and look at the world from a perspective wider than our little corner of it. I urge all conservative writers to turn off the television—you’ll learn nothing about writing from it—and turn that within them that embraces the whole of humanity and the core of Being.

And when you do all that, please, by all means, send your plays to Stage Right Theatrics, where you will always have a home.


[1]Please note that my theatre company, Stage Right Theatrics, hopes to change all that by providing a forum for the conservative playwright.

[2] I am finishing up work on my new book, entitled Bad Playwriting.  In it, I expound upon the basic points I make in this essay.

Photo by Tim Green aka atoach