|by Karen Handley • October 16, 2007|
Wabash College is please to present the one-man play, Marx in Soho, written by historian Howard Zinn and performed by Bob Weick. The performance will take place at 7 p.m., Thursday, November 1, in Salter Hall in the Fine Arts Center.
Frustrated with what he sees and hears from our world, the late Karl Marx returns to earth for one hour to defend the relevance of his ideas and highlight the serious social issues facing our world today. Undaunted by limitations of time and the current political climate, Marx presents a dynamic and humorous examination of world history and American politics in Zinn’s engaging play.
Playwright Zinn shows his characteristic gift of accurately humanizing, but not sentimentalizing, people most historians ignore at best or disfigure at worst. Zinn’s dialogue doesn’t preach, rather it is full of mischievous humor. American education, America’s super rich ruling class, corporate mergers, prisons, political chicanery and the media are some if the timely issues Marx takes on during the course of the play. The production is dedicated to its educational potential and whether you agree or disagree with the ideas presented in the play, it is a touchstone to open classroom and community discussion about contemporary politics, historical analysis and economic philosophy in a dynamic way.
J. Cooper Robb of the Philadelphia Weekly says this about the play, "You may be surprised how many ideologies you share with the title character in the Iron Age Theatre’s production of Marx in Soho. But if you’re worried this somehow makes you a Marxist, fear not - it turns out Karl Marx didn’t even consider himself one. There’s an appealing purity to director John Doyle’s production, as a lone storyteller stands before us and plainly relates the tale of the philosopher’s life. It’s capitalism for which Marx reserves his most impassioned oratory. He shakes his head sadly before admitting that since his death, ‘Yes, capitalism has triumphed, but over whom?’
Howard Zinn is America’s leading progressive historian. Zinn is best known for his book "A People’s History of the United States." Professor emeritus at Boston University, Zinn grew up in Brooklyn and worked in the shipyards before serving as an Air Force bombardier in WWII. Zinn was the chair of the History Department at Spellman College where he actively participated in the civil rights movement. He lives in Massachusetts and lectures on history and politics.
The performance, sponsored by the Hadley Fund, along with the History, Political Science and Philosophy Departments, is free and open to the public.