Wendy MacLeod, James Michael Playwright-in-Residence/Professor of Drama has published an essay in the Corriere Della Sera, one of Italy’s oldest newspapers and most-read newspaper. Professor MacLeod was commissioned by the National Theater of Genoa to represent the U.S. by writing a play about the G-8 summit held in Genoa in 2001. The other seven playwrights are from the other G-8 countries. Her comedy “BASTA! (Enough!)”, performed in Italian, will premiere on October 9th, 2021.
I started researching the violent demonstrations that happened at the G8 shortly after our own violent demonstrations at the US Capitol on January 6. In Genoa, it was the police who were largely responsible for the violence, while in Washington it was the demonstrators that violently attacked an overwhelmed police force. But there was a similar lack of consequences. The Italian police successfully staved off the ensuing lawsuits until the statute of limitations had run out, while the Republicans, worried about the upcoming midterm elections, voted down an investigation into the Capitol riots. The New York Times reported that, surprisingly, many of the DC rioters were college-educated, so what interested me was how intelligent people justify their bad behavior. Uniforms give some people license to do what they wouldn’t otherwise do, and, at other times, uniforms turn people into symbols, allowing others to disregard their humanity. My play begins in an interrogation room, where a police lieutenant, concerned about what his officers have done at the abandoned school, is trying to wrangle the truth out of another officer, whose convoluted logic is comically evasive, disingenuous, and self-pitying.