FOURTH WALL DOWN

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*Unfortunately, due to unforeseeable scheduling conflicts with our very talented cast, FWD's production of "An Ordinary Man" has had to be cancelled. With support, we may return to this play and it's incredibly important topic. If you are interested in collaborating or supporting in any way, feel free to contact us.*

 

In *June*, we will present the regional premiere of "An Ordinary Man", by Mel Arrighi. Written in 1968, it takes an unflinching look at 'white indifference', political cycles, nationalism, and the-future-that-never-was-but-still-could-be. Fifty years later, audiences will appreciate a fate we avoided, but also question whether we are so far removed, a half century later. Through multi-media, we will examine our rate of progress by juxtaposing this 'hypothetical period drama' with our present real-world zeitgeist.

The following are review excerpts from the original Off-Broadway premier (1968):

"this singular and absorbing play puts forth a chilling glimpse of a future America that could be, unless the explosive social tensions of the present are effectively and fairly resolved." —NY Post

"On the first level—that of intention—the play is a provocative statement. Set in the near future, it is structured as a series of flashbacks which take place during the trial of one Andy Neff for crimes against humanity. The flashbacks reveal the following narrative: The inexorable increase of racial tensions brings to power in America a right-wing, racist political party, the Liberty Party, and the nation becomes a virtual dictatorship…The other nations of the world band against the United States. With war and revolution about to break out any moment, the Party orders the internment in concentration camps of all blacks, half-a-million of whom die while imprisoned. World War Three is, shortly thereafter begun—and lost—by the United States, and an International Court calls to account all those responsible for the genocide. Neff, as the play's title indicates, is an ordinary man. Basically apolitical, he was a promising, talented film director, a typical Good German. He rose to national prominence, however, as director of a series of propagandistic anti-black 'educational films' which were instrumental in establishing the atmosphere of race hatred which made the genocide possible. His defense, naturally, is that he had nothing against blacks, didn't realize the effect his work was going to have and was just doing his job. From the evidence of the flashbacks, this all appears to be true. He really didn't know what he was doing, and he didn't intend to hurt anyone. The question with which the author leaves his audience, thus, are these: are you the same kind of ordinary man? What will your defense be at the trials? Will you be found innocent or guilty?"
--AD Coleman