Staged Reading of "Total War," a play by Ian Thal
October 11, 2009
Last time Ian Thal staged a reading of his play, Total War, at Cambridge’s Outpost 186, the event was picketed by a lone protester with several signs and placards who accosted both audience and actors as they arrived. Despite the provocations, which included a number of anti-Semitic chants, Thal regarded the evening a success, as it allowed him the opportunity to present a stripped down reading of the play and make plans for a rewrite of a play that had already been 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. Before faculty, students, and staff can begin the expected dialogue on free speech and religious pluralism, an anarchist-cell using the nom de guerre of “Total War” begins a campaign of guerrilla art attacks.