Tell it to the Marines

January 10, 2008
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Today’s New York Times features an enlightening story about Mishawaka-native Adam Driver, a former University of Indianapolis student who organized an evening theater performance for the Marines at Camp Pendleton.

Driver, an honorably discharged Marine himself, had the notion that Marines might actually enjoy monologues by such writers as Lanford Wilson, Jane Martin and John Patrick Shanley.

Read the results for yourself.

Any military folks in the readership care to comment on the story? Have false assumptions been made about your cultural interests? Are the arts, in generally, truly snobby about such things?

And, for the rest of you, how far should arts groups reach out to appeal to non-traditional audiences?

Your thoughts?
  • When I think of non-traditional audiences, I think of prisons. Storytellers, writers, musicians...many kinds of artists have shared their work with inmates in various places around the state, to the benefit of all.

    And is there still such a thing as poetry on the buses? It has been a while since I took a bus in Indy, or Bloomington, but when I did, it was a pleasant surprise to be able to read poems in between the advertisements.

    It is true that sometimes both artists and art fans can be snobbish, but really, everyone has a...right? Well, maybe right isn't a big enough word. Maybe responsibility and opportunty, too. Every human being has the right and the responsibility and (in a well-run society) the opportunity to include artistic expression and consumption and appreciation of the arts in his or her life.

    I am not surprised to hear that soldiers are human, too.

    On the other hand, not every piece of art is right for every audience member all the time. The NYT article says that Driver and the military sponsors had to select their pieces very carefully. I think this is true of any arts group who is trying to develop new audiences.

    Lots of good food for thought here, Lou. Thanks!
  • I posted a reply to this thread two weeks ago - where did it go?
  • Never saw the post, Joseph. Not sure what happened.

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