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Frank Wedekind

Dramatist Donald Margulies sees the stage in a fresh light

Dramatist Donald Margulies sees the stage in a fresh light

More than a quarter century ago, the critic Robert Hughes called the public's response to Modern art "the shock of the new." The role of art was to stimulate ideas, provoke thought, challenge ways of seeing. Today, we are experiencing a different, troubling phenomenon: a popular culture that embraces the comfort of the familiar. Americans discovered the hard way that we don't like surprises. Now that fear and uncertainty have taken permanent residence, people are unnerved by ambiguity in all aspects of life. They look for reassurance in rituals that are concrete and predictable. Newness is suspect. Constancy is rewarded. The consumer will go to McDonald's expressly...

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