We don’t do much in the way of cultural commentary here at AS, especially when it comes to theater! But we just had to give props to some New York City high school students who recently wrote a play criticizing the punk-ass capitalist management types who are implementing oppressive, capitalist agendas in their schools. It’s a badass play, and as they were getting ready to perform it–and this is NOT a joke–the principals of the students’ schools actually forbade the performance! Translation: these stupid chumps (school-bureaucrat-politicians) got punked by some savvy proletarian high schoolers; they were embarrassed and afraid, and they turned authoritarian, censoring the students’ creative political expression! But after protests from students and allies, the admin backed down and the play went on for an audience of students that were feelin’ it.
Loosely based on Antigone, the play is titled “Declassified: Struggle for Existence (We Used to Eat Lunch Together).” It addresses how bureaucrats implement whack policy agendas in the name of educational accountability (based on their unreformable subjugation to the needs of capital), which disrupt students’ lives and communities, starve their resources, subordinate all concerns to questions of financing and testing, pave the way for privatization, increase authoritarian control and supervision of youth, and generally suck a lot. And of course, these “reforms” (cuts and reorganization) are part of the overall pressures on poor, working families and part of the systematic way in which the state and capital attempt to divide oppressed peoples against each other. These insights are developed within the play, reflecting an organic, political consciousness amongst the writers. Continue reading