Bad Words and Good Theatre
Man is silenced with adhesive red tape across his mouth sealed to prevent him from speaking. Freedom Concept.
Artwork by DG Creative

I had a great first reading of a new play at Theatre Artists Studio in Phoenix—a strong cast, reasonably well rehearsed, an excellent turnout of over 60 people, positive responses and some useful critiques. But afterward, a woman approached me and asked me to consider taking out the word “faggot,” which is used maliciously by an obviously nasty character. I mentioned this to one of the actors, who also teaches theatre, and to my surprise, she agreed with the woman, and added another word she would excise, which is “cripple,” also used by that same malevolent character.

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Joseph Bardin
Joseph Bardin

is a playwright and essayist based in Scottsdale, AZ. His plays have been developed or produced by iTheatre Collaborative, Theatre Artists Studios, Space 55, Herberger Lunchtime Theater in Phoenix, Winding Road Theatre in Tucson, the La Jolla Theatre Ensemble, and KMC Onstage in Germany.