Staged Reading of Total War by Ian Thal
April 26, 2009
Ian Thal presents a staged reading of his play, "Total War" which was recently named a semi-finalist in the 2009 Dorothy Silver Playwriting Competition. "Total War" is a five-act play set at a Catholic university where the student newspaper has published a Holocaust denial advertisement. While faculty and staff attempt to show solidarity with the small Jewish community on campus, an anarchist-cell using the nom-de-guerre of "Total War" begins a campaign of guerrilla art attacks before a predictable dialogue on free speech and religious pluralism can begin. Though a work of fiction, Total War was inspired by events Thal witnessed while attending graduate school, exploring the history (and potential futures) of Jewish-Catholic relations, historical memory, and the conflict between grass-roots activism and institutional power. It is a story made timely after the scandal surrounding Vatican's recent lifting of the excommunication of the anti-Semitic Society of Saint Pius X and its Holocaust-denying Bishop, Richard Williamson. The reading will feature the talents of local actors including: Dale Appel, Anika M. Colvin-Hannibal, John M. Costa, Anthony DiBartolomeo, Mikey DiLoreto, Lou Fuoco, Kate Heffernan, Andrew Hicks, Lesley Moreau, Krystle Spoon, and Tom Sprague. The staged reading is for an audience to experience a stripped-down version of a work-in-progress and participate in a talk-back.