‘This Is a Work of Non-Fiction’

Alli Houseworth, former marketing director at Woolly Mammoth Theater Company:

For months and months four major non-profit organizations across the US (Seattle Rep, Berkeley Rep, Woolly and the Public Theater) worked to put TATESJ on the stage, bringing the story we all felt was so enormously important — a story Mike told at least me time and time again was true. He insisted that “This is a work of non-fiction” be printed in playbills. This was to be a work of activist theatre.


And to the tens of thousands of Americans who paid money to sit in our theatres to see this show that was billed as a non-fiction piece of theatre, I am so sorry. You deserve an apology from us art-makers. We should have known better. We should have done our fact-checking. Our dramaturgs should have gone through every fact in that show, just like they do with other plays that go on our stages. We as marketers should have positioned this as “based on a true story.” We should have known better. We all should have stood up against Mike and made sure with 100% certainty that the story he was putting on our stage was true because why, WHY, when we are producing works of non-fiction should we ever be held to a different standard than journalism.

Why indeed. Imagine how frustrating this situation must be for monologists who do value the truth, who are performing true journalism.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012