imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Is Cygnet's "The Receptionist" Subversive?

by Mark Gabrish Conlan/Zenger's Newsmagazine Friday, Aug. 01, 2008 at 4:32 PM
mgconlan@earthlink.net (619) 688-1886 P. O. Box 50134, San Diego, CA 92165

Cygnet Theatre's "The Receptionist," playing on the company's Rolando stage in San Diego until August 31, disguises itself as an innocuous sex comedy — but as the play progresses author Adam Bock slips in potentially subversive material. See this play and monitor it for yourself.

Is Cygnet’s The Receptionist Subversive?

by MARK GABRISH CONLAN

Copyright © 2008 by Mark Gabrish Conlan for Zenger’s Newsmagazine • All rights reserved

FROM: Mark Gabrish Conlan, Theatre Monitor

TO: The Central Office

SUBJ.: Theatrical presentation, “The Receptionist,” at Cygnet Theatre, San Diego

It is my duty to report on a potentially subversive theatre presentation scheduled to play through the entire month of August at the Cygnet Theatre’s Rolando space, 6663 El Cajon Boulevard, suite N, at the eastern end of San Diego near the College area. The play is called The Receptionist and was written by Adam Bock. Cygnet’s production is the play’s West Coast premiere and was directed by the company’s founder and artistic director, Sean Murray. Rather than wait for the official August 1 opening and request review tickets, I disguised myself as an ordinary playgoer and monitored the play’s second preview performance on Friday, July 25. This memo contains my observations and recommendations for our agency’s response to this production.

Bock’s strategy in his script is to lure audiences to the theatre expecting to see an innocuous, lightweight comedy set in a modern office, then as the play progresses to sneak in more and more potentially dangerous material. When one enters the theatre, one’s first sight is an extraordinarily realistic set for a reception desk at a high-class office space, expertly designed by Sean Fanning. In line with the theatre company’s name, which means “baby swan,” swan motifs abound in the set design, from the logo of the enterprise represented to the multiple toy swans and other birds supplied by properties designer Bonnie L. Durben to adorn the set and represent the tastes of the title character, receptionist Beverly Wilkins (Melinda Gilb).

However, before the play begins the entire set revolves to reveal a blank wall on the other side, where Ms. Wilkins’ supervisor, Edward Raymond (Dale Morris), is delivering a monologue about his love for fly fishing and his arguments with his wife over the current U.S. military operation in Iraq. Then the set revolves again and we see Ms. Gilb as Ms. Wilkins, gossiping on the office phone with a female friend and fielding phone calls for Mr. Raymond and another office staff member, Lorraine Taylor (Jo Anne Glover). Ms. Taylor arrives for work late, and soon enough an attractive young man, ostensibly from this office, named Martin Dart (Sean Cox), enters the reception area and announces his intention to wait for Mr. Raymond to arrive.

For the first half of this play — presented in a single act of about 1 hour and 20 minutes with no intermission — the principal dramatic issue is Ms. Taylor’s love life. She has been seeing a man named Glenn (not shown on stage as a character) whom Ms. Wilkins has denounced as a narcissist, a personality trait that fortunately is no concern of this agency. However, this does not stop her from commencing a flirtation with Mr. Dart — to which Mr. Dart responds even though playwright Bock has already established that he is married and the father of a four-year-old boy. (Mr. Cox can be seen wearing a wedding ring on the appropriate finger to establish this aspect of Mr. Dart’s character.) Ms. Wilkins attempts to warn Ms. Taylor about the potential consequences of dating a married man — as she had previously done with her girlfriend, also not seen as an actual on-stage character.

Then The Receptionist veers subtly but unmistakably from relatively harmless, innocuous sexual farce to material with a very real danger of compromising this agency and its protocols. While it would be inappropriate to risk accidental disclosure of classified information by going into too many specifics in this memo, suffice it to say that Mr. Bock’s writing treads on the thin edge of subversion by daring to suggest that this agency’s protocols may sometimes err on the side of rigor; and that compassion, justice and a sense of fair play might actually be reasonable values to apply in our struggle against a ruthless, implacable enemy who shows no signs of respecting any but the toughest and most uncompromising approaches to investigation.

The excellence of Cygnet’s production only adds to the subversive potential of Mr. Bock’s material. Director Murray keeps the action constantly flowing and avoids the trap of making the transition from light comedy to serious drama too obvious and glaring. He has also assembled an excellent cast of experienced local actors (all of whom but Ms. Glover are listed as resident artists of his company). Ms. Gilb is perfectly cast as the big-hearted, almost motherly receptionist and Ms. Glover matches her ably as the slacker Lorraine, whose rather airy dismissal of work schedules and obligations may or may not conceal a more sinister purpose.

The men fare equally well, perhaps too well in the case of Mr. Cox, who’s all too effective in making us believe he’d willingly forsake his marriage vows for Ms. Glover’s character. (No one in our office would really behave like that, would we?) Mr. Morris gets little stage time but makes the most of what he has. The actors, especially the women, are remarkably well dressed by costume designer Jeanne Reith, and the lighting by Eric Lotze is mostly routine but achieves some quite effective effects towards the end.

Cygnet Theatre has announced this production as the opening of their 2008-2009 season, and some of the future plays on their schedule also suggest the possibility of subversive content. Among these are a musical by Stephen Sondheim that allegedly glorifies both successful and failed Presidential assassins and two well-known propaganda pieces, A Christmas Carol and It’s a Wonderful Life, which under the guise of sentimental Christmas stories actually dare to suggest that values of compassion, justice and fair play might be applicable even to the business world.

What’s more, at least two of the actors in The Receptionist have suspicious backgrounds from their work elsewhere in San Diego theatre. Dale Morris is the artistic director of Compass Theatre, formerly known as 6th @ Penn, in Hillcrest, which at one point produced a series of plays allegedly dealing with human rights and in the process questioning the propriety of our agency’s use of tort- — excuse me, enhanced interrogation techniques. And Jo Anne Glover is one of the four founders of MOXIE, a local company that proudly and unashamedly proclaims its mission as presenting plays that subvert long-established traditional gender-role norms and actually present women as independent agents entitled to live their own lives and ignore their Biblically ordained subordination to men.

My recommendation for action is that, rather than apprehend the principals behind this production and interrogate them immediately, we encourage people to see their play and report back to us whether they find the message of The Receptionist subversive and threatening to the national security. To do this, they can order tickets online at www.cygnettheatre.com or by phone at (619) 337-1525. The show’s official opening date is August 1 and performances take place at 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays, 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, and 2 and 7 p.m. on Sundays until the production closes on August 31. Once they’ve seen it, they can e-mail our agency at the special address I have set up for that purpose, is_receptionist_subversive@yahoo.com, and let us know what they think.

But however you react to this show, it’s clear that these folks at Cygnet Theatre bear watching …

Report this post as:

Local News

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A12 5:39PM

lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety A08 10:29PM

Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man A08 9:50PM

Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes A08 9:48PM

Paraphysique de l'autorité A08 12:11AM

Two Podcasts on fbi corruption A06 10:13PM

Fbi assassins assault & try to kill DAVID ATKINS A06 7:29PM

EPA Head Scott Pruitt: Of Cages And Sirens A06 2:15PM

The Shortwave Report 04/06/18 Listen Globally! A05 4:25PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy