To say that the U.S. political climate is intense and stressful is an understatement. People get on the nerves of others simply by voicing out their opinions. It is a difficult time and confusing for many. It makes perfect sense to distance yourself first and try to look at the situation without any biases.
Politics can be dirty and so are the words coming out of the mouths of politicians especially during campaign season. Outsiders may wonder what’s really going on in a country that is among the most powerful in the world right now when its citizens can’t help bashing each other in social media because of who they voted for. It is even more disconcerting that the current political climate can make for a funny play.
The comedy was written years before Donald Trump became a political candidate.
And its villain is a Canadian prime minister, not an American billionaire.
But for Lethbridge audiences, the timing couldn’t be better. A new theatre group is staging a political comedy, “Proud,” as its debut presentation.
It’s set sometime in the future, when the federal Conservatives win their next majority government. But the show opens tonight at Casa, 7:30 p.m., followed by evening performances Friday and Sunday.
People are entertained watching how the U.S. political arena unfolds but it is troubling once you understand that this is real-life we are talking about.
Spokesperson Derek Stevenson says the recently formed Undertow Theatre Collective is aiming to produce shows each spring and fall. Its first feature was written by Canadian playwright Michael Healey in 2012.
But Stevenson says the comedy is clearly “relevant to the current political landscape of our society.”
The youth are just as perplexed as the country’s adult population. However, we commend educators who guide students to have a better grasp of what is currently happening in the country, especially regarding controversial immigration policies of the administration.
As part of a class assignment in Rhetoric and Civic Life, Barbon and seven of her classmates organized a discussion at Webster’s Café in State College that invited students and community members to talk about the immigration issue. But this was not the kind of debate you might see on the evening news; it was a carefully orchestrated deliberation.
The discussions during this coursework opened the eyes of the students on a lot of crucial and sensitive issues plaguing the nation as of late. And immigration and economics take center stage.
Beyond immigration, the Deliberation Nation series included more than 50 deliberations on a range of topics including sexual assault on campus, the media’s role in elections, the opioid epidemic, and the impact of technology on children. A total of 563 students and 78 community members, including State College Mayor Elizabeth Goreham and Chief of Police John Gardner, participated in at least one discussion.
“The deliberations are devised and framed by the students,” Bedell explains. “It’s up to them to pick the topics and apply what they’ve learned about deliberative frameworks to make this happen.”
For Barbon, the takeaways from the coursework she did in preparation and the event itself exceeded her expectations: “This assignment has been eye opening and meaningful because the format was deliberative rather than structured as a debate. It was a discussion that encouraged the group to think together and move towards a consensus rather than argue and pick sides. It was more productive and reflective.”
Aside from the many external issues that need to be addressed, internal problems like graft and corruption also persist. But a proactive populace can help maintain check and balance in the government. Politicians will be extra careful in what they do when they know that people are watching their every step.