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Staging economics and math in Lucy Prebble's Enron and David Hare's The Power of Yes.

Abstract: The immediacy of theatre makes it reflexive and reactive, allowing playwrights and theatrical companies to respond to dramatic local, national and international events much more quickly than other genres, as evidenced through the theatrical works that appeared shortly after 9/11 and the plays that challenged the resulting conflict in the Middle East. However, not all events are as easily translated. After all, as a theatre practitioner how do you theatricalize what happened on September 15th, 2008, as the Great Recession was born? How do you stage concepts such as "securitized credit arrangements", "credit derivatives", and "liquidity crisis"? How do you get beyond the brick walled edifices of banks and investment houses with the names of RBS, Northern Rock and Lehman Brothers? In essence, how do you dramatically capture the esoteric elements behind one of the greatest economic failures of the Western world without putting your audience to sleep? These questions will be answered by exploring Lucy Prebble's Enron and David Hare's The Power of Yes.

Keywords: Economics, David Hare, Lucy Prebble, Enron, The Power of Yes, British drama

Since the turn of the century, London theatre has been in crisis mode--not in the sense that the theatre itself has been facing a crisis (in fact, over the last fifteen years the London theatre has experienced a great deal of success especially in regard to how diverse its offerings have become), but in the sense that many of the new plays being written are responding to crises at home and abroad. September 11th, the resulting involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, and London's own terror attack on July 7th have inspired and is still inspiring plays like David Hare's Stuff Happens (2004), Roy Williams's Days of Significance (2007), Joe Penhall's Landscape with Weapon (2007), Simon Stephens's Pornography (2008), The Tricycle Theatre's Trilogy The Great Game (2009), and many others. Soon thereafter, environmental fears of climate change came to the forefront with plays like Steve Waters' The Contingency Plan (2009) and Mike Bartlett's Earthquakes in London (2010). Two plays, Mike Bartlett's Game and Philip Ridley's Radiant Vermin, premiered in early 2015, addressed the nation's ever growing housing crisis. The economic crisis of 2007-2009 has inspired myriad plays, such as Laura Wade's Posh (2010), Dennis Kelly's The Gods Weep (2010), Anders Lustgarten's If You Don't Let Us Dream, We Won't Let You Sleep (2013), Clare Duffy's Money: The Game Show (2013), Tim Price's Protest Song (2014), and Jack Thorne's Hope (2014). This latter crisis is of interest here and, more specifically, the question of how one theatricalizes a global economic meltdown, which stemmed from arcane, confuse-the-common-man jargon and policies, like derivatives, credit default swaps, "light touch" regulation, sub-prime mortgages, predatory lending, and securitized debt arrangements, and involved a litany of fiscally irresponsible financial institutions, including Freddie and Fannie Mae, AIG, Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, RBS, among others. The question facing the theatre and its playwrights was how to transfer such an esoteric, wide-ranging and confusing-to-understand crisis of economics, which, after all, has never really been a popular theatrical subject, to the stage. As indicated by the list above, several playwrights and theatres were willing and invigorated in dramatically capturing the catastrophe. Clare Duffy, for example, created a scripted game show, where 10,000 pounds, all in coins, sat on stage while audience members were split into two teams that competed to replicate the economic strategies that led to the collapse. Laura Wade offered a contrasting view, showing the 1%'s complete lack of regard for the struggling economy, while the remaining 99% of the population, as twelve well-off college males in a secret society trash a pub dining room, sexually harass the owner's daughter, beat up the owner, and articulate a philosophy of being "sick to fucking death of poor people" (Wade 126). Tim Price's Protest Song delves into the situation of those same "poor people" by focusing on the Occupy Protest outside of St. Paul's Cathedral through a monologue by a homeless man, who wakes up to discover that his home is now the center point for a socio-political movement. (1) While these and other intriguing takes on the crisis deserve further exploration, the focus here is on the two best known productions to emerge on this topic, namely Lucy Prebble's Enron, which was a surprise West End hit, and David Hare's The Power of Yes, which was commissioned by the National Theatre to be their commentary on the financial crisis. Both plays premiered within a few months of each other in 2009, with Prebble's play opening first. A look at the two plays reveals one of the significant challenges to staging the lead-up to an economic collapse, namely that narrative structure and the conveying of complex economic information significantly impacts the audience's engagement but also the success of the production itself.

Enron, which features video and topical references to the heydays of the 1990s to contextualize the play's action, presents the rise and fall of the Texas-based energy company through the gyrations of its three main characters. Ken Lay is presented as a leader completely above the fray, not understanding or paying attention to the chicanery surrounding him. While Jeff Skilling, a larger-than-life figure, dominates his employees with an eye only toward the upward trajectory of the company's stock price, Andy Fastow is the devious brain behind Skilling, hiding the company's debt from its employees, investors, and Wall Street. The play begins with Enron's hiring of Skilling, who insists that the company adopts mark-to-market accounting, a manipulative bookkeeping philosophy where once a business contract is signed the profits from that venture are automatically counted toward the quarter's revenue, even though no cash has changed hands and no profit has yet to transpire. Despite whether the company will or will not see any of the revenue from its deal, Enron will still claim it as a completed and booked transaction. The dramatic financial success and eventual fall of Enron hinges entirely on Skilling, introducing this financial concept to the company. Prebble documents Enron's growth through the new markets it enters, like trading electricity, which results in the state of California experiencing blackouts, and the proposed plans to trade bandwidth and enter into business with Blockbuster for a video-on-demand service. Eventually, the company is unable to maintain its reckless growth, causing the debt that Fastow has been hiding in shadow companies to collapse upon itself, leading the company into bankruptcy.

Of all the playwrights, so far, to delve into the economic crisis, Prebble's play has been the most successful financially and critically in England. Prebble's familial connections may have prepared her to be an apt candidate to explore the economic disintegration of Enron, which was, up to that point, the largest corporate failure in the history of the United States. (2) She comes from a business-oriented family, as her father was the head of a multinational software firm, and at the time of her writing the play her brother and sister worked for Accenture, a major multinational corporation. The jargony nature of business language, the hierarchical nature of corporations, and the key desire to grow and make money would be second nature to her family members and a valuable resource for her. However, even more important than her familial relations to the business world was her concept behind constructing the play's relationships and characters. She explained that as a playwright writing about such a financial disaster you
have to try and create a tragic hero with whom you may not agree,
but who is dramatically magnetic. It's what Shaw did with Andrew
Undershaft in Major Barbara, and Tony Kushner with Roy Cohn in
Angels in America. And it's what I have tried to do with Jeffrey
Skilling. I learned that he used to wake up at four in the morning
thinking of all the pressure on him. I found it easy to relate to
that since I used to do exactly the same when I was younger, thinking
of all the lies I'd told and fantasies I'd created. (Billington)

In addition, she acknowledged that at the heart of the economic system are the traders on the floor whose actions, vocal inflections, and rituals are inherently theatrical. "It's the purest form of theatre, of course, and belief in it is kind of the religion behind our society, so it's odd that that world hardly ever makes it into a theatre" (Adams). The theatricality of the traders was highlighted through Rupert Goold's direction, which included a scene with light sabers being wielded by the traders as they decimated California's distribution of energy grid, as they use Star Wars terminology to describe their trading actions. Goold also added other theatrical devices including a running ticker tape display of Enron's stock price, raptors populating Fastow's basement office, barbershop quartets, and Lehman Brothers represented as a carnival-like two-headed man. In doing so the play not only surprised and entertained, but also educated, as Prebble stated, "When I watch my play, I see the audiences leaning forward in their seats to have this stuff explained to them" (Broughton). Goold transformed dry, potentially confusing material, into visually engaging scenes driven by theatrical spectacle and Pebble's incisive writing. What Goold did theatrically with the economic concepts surrounding Enron is a clear precursor and influence to Adam McKay's Oscar winning film The Big Short (2015), adapted from Michael Lewis's book of the same name. McKay, too, offered inventive means of helping audiences understand the complexities of the crash, but through the medium of film he combined celebrity and economics in small snippets of comical creativity, including Margot Robbie sipping champagne in a bubble bath and explaining the nature of subprime mortgages; Anthony Bourdain explaining how the reusing of unsold fish in a restaurant compares with the passing along of bad mortgages; and Selena Gomez playing blackjack contextualizes how betting in the banking world works.

The critical response to Prebble's play was ecstatic due, in part, to the piece's brilliant theatricality as well as her illuminating clarity in explaining the company's complex economic and business philosophies. The Times found it "nimble, funny, clear-eyed, inventive, informative, exhilarating and then sobering, relentlessly entertaining, surprisingly affecting, this is not to be missed" (Maxwell). The Evening Standard appreciated Prebble's "ability to take us through complex concepts with ease, without bemusing or, worse, patronizing us" (Mountford). Charles Spencer of The Telegraph also praised the play's ability to teach: "What needs stressing equally strongly is that it is also hugely entertaining--and accessible even to dunderheads like me who wouldn't know a financial instrument from an instrument of torture". Like Caryl Churchill's Serious Money (1987) and Tony Marchant's Speculators (1988), both plays that successfully interwove Thatcher's monetarist policies into successful theatrical productions, Lucy Prebble's Enron proved that economics and business can work as a viable, engaging, and successful theatrical event.

Whereas Enron stemmed from Prebble's interest in the company's failure, the prompting for The Power of Yes, David Hare's foray into the economic crisis, came from Nicholas Hytner, artistic director of the National Theatre. Seeing the financial wasteland affecting the country, Hytner felt that the National needed to produce a play addressing the crisis (just as it had done with the response to the British invasion of Iraq, when he called Hare and asked for a play, which became Stuff Happens). He once again called up Hare, asking him to write a play about the economic catastrophe shaking not only the City, but also the country as a whole, for example, the crisis surrounding the Royal Bank of Scotland, which had its customers queueing outside branches to remove their savings.

In order to help Hare with his research, the National hired Masa Serdarevic, a Financial Times journalist, to aid his understanding of the economic complexities. Hare made her a character in the play and through her assistance, Hare, in full journalistic mode, seeks out journalists, government officials, wealthy investors, and Nobel-prize winning economists to explain what led to this cataclysmic event. Unlike Prebble's fictionalized narrative presenting the demise of Enron, Hare chose verbatim theatre, which relies on factual items like interviews, documents, and transcripts to tell its story, as his narrative device. Twice before, Hare had used the format to great success earlier in the decade. The Permanent Way (2003) about the national rail crisis powerfully explored the deregulation of the country's rail system and the ensuing tragedies from two deadly crashes. His piece, offering searing testimony from victim's family members and upset employees, took the theatrical world by surprise in showing the inherent power of verbatim theatre to energize and personalize what seemed to be a fairly dry topic: the British rail service. He returned to verbatim theatre with Stuff Happens to examine Great Britain's commitment of troops to the Middle East after September 11th. Hare admitted that while the play did contain verbatim words from government officials, it also featured conversations that Hare made up to fit the events that unfolded--for example, a conversation between President George Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair as they walked on the grounds of Bush's Texas compound. Again, through this technique Stuff Happened was considered by some to be the most effective play in response to September 11th and the ensuing conflict in the Middle East. It would make sense that he would return to the same format with his examination of the steps leading to the Great Recession.

However, what made the pieces before successful was absent in The Power of Yes. Hare revealed that his main motivation behind the creation of the piece "is clarity. I want a non-professional audience to understand an incredibly complicated subject, and no longer to feel excluded when it's reported on television" (National Theatre 6). In Hare's logic: "Plays which satisfy curiosity answer a deeper need than plays which re-cycle familiar psychological patterns" (6). He set out, then, to write a didactic play that would explain the crisis, and nothing more, unlike Prebble, who, as noted above, theatricalized a distinct psychological pattern present in Jeffry Skilling (that Shaw and Kushner used to great success in their plays), while also educating her audience on the specifics behind Enron's meltdown. Hare believed his audience needed an evening of education rather than an evening of theatrical entertainment. The Power of Yes is a lecture, a class lesson, a primer, but not really a play. His piece is comprised of a litany of suited men coming forth and lecturing Hare on the nature of the crisis and how it came to be. One critic joked that the play's real title should have been "Bring on the Suits" (Muir). And yet, the most intriguing part of the play occurs in the first few minutes as various economic authorities give Hare smart, theatrical advice about how he should write the play that he is researching, offering wise counsel to frame it as a Greek or Shakespearean tragedy or as a comedy or as a villainous portrayal of Alan Greenspan. Unfortunately, Hare did not listen to them. Ironically, the advice given by these economic experts is precisely what Prebble recognized was crucial in the telling of an economic disaster. At some point he must have realized the problematic path his play had taken because The Power of Yes begins with a disclaimer by David Hare, the character, who one critic termed as a "corduroy-clad Columbo" (Chakrabortty), announcing: "This isn't a play. It's a story. It doesn't pretend to be a play. It pretends only to be a story" (Hare 3). He attempts to pre-empt what he knows are going to be criticisms directed at the play's lack of theatricality. Unfortunately, his own self-criticism did not keep the critics at bay.

The reviews took Hare to task. The Independent, almost sounding like an English composition teacher reading a bad final draft of a student paper, wrote "this piece is not so much a play proper as an artfully arranged dramatization of the research that could have led to one" (Taylor). It continued on to state: "He's given us a sort of Everything You Wanted to Know About the Credit Crunch, But Were Afraid to Ask. It's honourable, lucid, tenacious, and a little dull" (Taylor). The Socialist Review thought that "By the end of the play Hare leaves his audience... more confused than they were at the start" (Farmer). In addition, "[t]his confused structure is compounded by the play's sheer blandness" (Farmer). The Wall Street Journal offered: "The play doesn't work as a drama. It's more like a lecture given by two dozen speakers" (Levy), while The Guardian called it "ploddingly unimaginative" (Flatt) and The Sunday Telegraph suggested that it was a "tutorial for slow learners" (Walker). Perhaps the most damning thing, which was echoed in many of the reviews, was that they encouraged their readers to avoid The Power of Yes and instead see Prebble's Enron, if they really wanted to understand the nature of the country's economic troubles.

While some of the reasons for the success and failure of the two plays have been laid out above by the opening night critics and the author's themselves, a more specific example of the intricacies of theatricalizing economics may be more efficacious in delineating the fate of the two works, namely: how they both handled mathematics.

A perfect example of the difficulties with dramatizing the math behind economic theory occurs in The Power of Yes, where Hare includes Robert Scholes' Nobel Prize-winning mathematical formula about managing risk when investing. Scholes explains the equation to Hare, while the formula appears on the screen behind him (one of the few theatrical flourishes in the play):
An options' value, C, depends on five variables. The current market
price of the stock, S. The agreed future price for the option, X. The
time till the expiry of the option, T. The risk-free interest rate, R.
And the decisive factor--the expected fluctuation of the stock price,
called volatility, and represented by the Greek letter sigma. By
working to the following formula--C equals S multiplied by N brackets d
one which is the area under the Normal curve a d one, minus, X
multiplied by e to the power negative rT multiplied by N brackets d two
which is the area under the normal curve at d two. d one equals, log of
S over x plus, open brackets, r plus sigma squared over two, close
brackets, multiplied by T, all divided by sigma times the square root
of T. d two equals d one minus sigma times the square root of T, it is
possible accurately to arrive at the optimum selling price of option
contracts. Does anyone have any questions? (10)

Clearly, Hare includes this impossible-to-follow equation as a jab at the erroneous and almost nonsensical rationale that financial risk can be mathematically mitigated, as the market proved the formula wrong in 2008-2009. Scholes' query if anyone has any questions successful pokes fun at the mind-numbing nature of the equation, but at the same time the formula's inclusion highlights precisely what is problematic in Hare's theatricalization of the crisis. The Black-Scholes' equation, featuring a litany of variables, which all become alphabet soup to the audience, is actually contained within a larger lecture by Scholes aimed at educating the audience about the incidents leading to the crisis. Scholes appears within the play's first fifteen minutes, and his presence occurs at an important moment of the play. The audience is now making the decision whether to become active participants (like Prebble's audience who leans forward from their chairs) in Hare's dramatic version of an economic classroom or mentally check-out, becoming passive members of the audience looking forward to intermission (becoming an audience who leans back into their chairs). Instead of intellectually or emotionally drawing his Lytellton theatre audience into the economic hubris behind the crash, as Prebble does with Enron, Hare's writing provokes glassy-eyed stares from Scholes's convoluted formula. Instead of providing building blocks to give the audience some comfortable ground upon which to build their understanding of the history behind the crisis, Hare presents them with complexity, mentally losing them almost immediately, as they divorce themselves from the material aimed to educate them. In turn, Scholes's formula merely reinforces what they already knew before coming into the theatre: the reasons behind the crisis are far and away too complex to understand. Rather than educating his audience, Hare reifies their position that it is beyond them.

And yet, a perfect counterpoint to Hare's use of Black-Scholes can be found in Simon Stephens' adaptation of Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, which ends with the main character, Christopher, a highly functional autistic teen, essentially doing exactly what Scholes does in The Power of Yes, namely, bombard the audience with a complex mathematical formula, in this instance a geometric proof. However, his equally esoteric proof about the characteristics of a right-angled triangle occurs to cheers and adulation from the audience, who revel in Christopher's explanation of such a difficult mathematical equation, quite in contrast to the dry etchings of Scholes. Here is a sample of some of what he tells his audience:
If a triangle is right angled, one of its angles will be 90 degrees and
will therefore follow Pythagoras's theorem. Pythagoras said a squared
plus b squared equals c squared. To put it simply, if you draw squares
outside the three sides of a right-angled triangle then add up the area
of the two smaller squares, this will be equal to the area of the
larger square. This is only true if the triangle is right angled....
The A level question is an algebraic formula for making right-angled
triangles. Algebra is like a computer program that works for whatever
number you put into it. To find the area of a square you must multiply
the length by the width. So... the area of this square is 2n x 2n.

Like in The Power of Yes, the play relies on a video representation of the formula, in this case a computer-generated explanation of the proof appears writ large behind him on a screen as Christopher proves the theorem. No doubt, what Christopher shares with the audience is just as confusing and unclear to theatre goers without math smarts as what Scholes provides. However, what Stephens does is something that Hare fails to do. He recognizes that the formula needs to be theatricalized. Christopher's speech comes after the play has ended, and Christopher comes back on stage after the curtain call, just as the audience has begun to gather their belongings and head toward the exits (a perfect way to ensure he gets a standing ovation after he recites it). However, throughout the play the audience has been invested in Christopher's travails of trying to solve the murder of his neighbor's dog, his journey to London to find his mother, and the difficulties of trying to adapt to the changing familial dynamics of his life, all the while wanting to be the first in his school to take an A levels test. By the time the equation portion comes around, Stephens has primed the audience for this mathematical moment as the joyous pinnacle of Christopher's journey. Acknowledging the dullness of geometry, Stephens directs the creative crew to use
as much theatricality as we can throw at it, using music, lights,
sound, lasers, the boxes, the train tracks, the rest of the company,
the orchestra, the fucking ushers for Christ's sake, using dance, song,
bells, whistles, the works, he proves by means of a counter-example
that when a triangle with sides that can be written in the form n
squared plus one, n squared minus one and two n where n is greater than
one) is right angled. (99-100)

Stephens understands that math is not theatrical, it is not dramatic, and it is not interesting when spoken about or explained. Math is a dry topic that in the case of most people shuts them down immediately, as they longingly want to think about anything else. Math takes us back to boring high school or college classes. In other words, math sucks. If you are going to talk about it, you need, as Stephens notes, to use every single device at hand to make it interesting, which the play successfully does.

Hare, who made the topic of trains an emotional and powerful evening, cannot overcome the stagnating nature of math and in turn the play early on begins it precipitous descent into dullness. Prebble, though, is aware of this distinction and she, like Stephens, makes the discussions of the economic principles upon which Enron's financing is founded interesting, engaging and, more importantly, rooted in character. When the "mark to market" accounting principles are introduced early in the play, they are intrinsically tied into a party celebrating Enron's hiring of Skilling. At the party is Mark Fastow, who wants to ingratiate himself to his new boss. Of all the employees in the room only Fastow understands of how the bookkeeping process works. Skilling acknowledges Fastow, saying "This guy gets it" (9), and this recognition will allow Fastow to move into Skilling's inner circle, becoming his second-in-command. This introduction of economic information not only allows for the explanation of a difficult financial principle to be shared with the audience but also introduces the symbiotic relationship between the two men who will eventually bankrupt Enron. They are the only ones who really understand the nature of the scheme. Later when Fastow suggests using shadow companies to help hide the debt being incurred by Enron, Fastow visually explains the scheme using his office to represent the size of Enron's debt. He then uses the example of boxes within boxes within boxes to show the Russian doll-like manipulation of phantom companies that will hide all of Enron's debt with only a minimal amount of capital outlay on their part to keep the transaction legitimate. Eventually, Fastow gets down to a box the size of a matchbox:
Fastow: Until for all this to be real, for this huge shadow company to
exist, all we actually need...
He opens the matchbox and takes out a tiny red, glowing box.
He holds it up. The men are bathed in it like some totem from an
Indiana Jones film. (50)

On paper, the concept is difficult, but Prebble recognizes the importance of the visuals that theatre offers to explain the brilliance of and manipulative nature of the SEC's rules by Fastow's plan. Essentially, if all of Enron's debt was represented by Fastow's office, then all they would need is an outlay of cash the size of that box (in relation to the rest of the room) to keep it hidden. With the visuals, a confusing idea becomes completely clear, educating and entertaining the audience all at once.

Prebble, Hare, and many other British playwrights have seen the need to turn the theatre's attention to the financial world, but their aim is to find the delicate balance between explaining the complexity of economic formulas and policies and keeping the audience engaged. As Philip Broughton noted, the theatrical audience "want[s] to understand the roots of our economic problems in psychological, behavioral and technical terms. And they want great stories to help them. Writing about business today is not just worthy and necessary. It's as close as it may ever be to sexy". The challenge then becomes making the dry areas of finance emotionally powerful theatrical experiences. With the world's finances being interlocked in a global market, the precariousness of these economic relationships and reliances came to full fruition with the Great Recession of 2008-09. The British theatre has always been a location for exploring and explaining the socio-political ramifications of world events and their connection to Britain. With the recent spate of plays enmeshed in examining the economy, it behooves the writers to find ways to transfer the material in a palatably theatrical method to their audiences. If Prebble and Hare's plays are to be guide posts, then clearly Prebble has found a way to capture economic complexity, while also providing the emotional connection desired by the audience, making for a natural blend between two disciplines that very rarely intertwine. Time will tell as to whether Hare's drier method will find its own success with another playwright and economic topic.

Works Cited

Adams, Tim. "'I hate to be told somewhere is out of bounds for women'. Enter Enron..." The Observer 4 July 2009.

Billington, Michael. "Making a Drama out of the Economic Crisis". The Guardian 14 September 2009.

Broughton, Philip Delves. "Credit Crunch Drama Moves from City to Stage". The Sunday Times 2 August 2009. article180034.ece.

Chakrabortty, Aditya. "The banking crisis is not about Blofeld in a business suit". The Guardian 23 December 2009.

Farmer, Jack. Review of The Power of Yes. Socialist Review November 2009.

Flatt, Molly. "The Power of Yes: Does theatre absolve us of responsibility?" The Guardian 8 October 2009.

Hare, David. The Power of Yes. London: Faber, 2009.

Levy, Paul. "The Power of Yes Deserves a 'No' in Dramatizing the Financial Crisis". The Wall Street Journal 9 October 2009.

Maxwell, Dominic. "Enron: The Ingenious Answer to a $60bn Question". The Times 23 July 2009. Lexis-Nexus.

Mountford, Fiona. "Enron Dazzles as a Corporate Macbeth for the Modern Age". The Evening Standard 23 July 2009. Lexis-Nexus.

Muir, Kate. "Making a Drama out of a Credit Crisis". The Times 10 Oct. 2009. Lexis Nexis.

National Theatre. "Discover: National Theatre: The Power of Yes". 2009.

Prebble, Lucy. Enron. London: Methuen, 2009.

Spencer, Charles. Review of Enron. The Telegraph 23 July 2009.

Stephens, Simon. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. London: Bloomsbury, 2013.

Taylor, Paul. Review of The Power of Yes. The Independent 6 October 2009.

Wade, Laura. Posh. London: Oberon, 2010.

Walker, Tim. "The Power of No Thanks". The Sunday Telegraph 11 October 2009. Lexis Nexis.

(1) An interesting comparison play with Price's Protest Song is Steve Water's Temple, which offers an alternative look at the Occupy Movement from the office of the Dean of St. Paul's Cathedral, who now finds himself politically wedged between church and city officials on the fate of the protestors camped outside and his own inclination to open the Cathedral to worshippers.

(2) It is worth noting that Prebble began researching and working on her play before the economic crisis occurred. Because of its timeliness, it was seen as a perfect example of Brecht's concept of using history to comment on present conditions. In this case though the history being depicted was only a few years removed from the present.
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Author:Boles, William C.
Article Type:Critical essay
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 22, 2017
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