No. 97 Big Little Lies & Avenue Q
I yelled at Witherspoon's character about artistic freedom.
The Big Little Lies storyline of the city officials not wanting Avenue Q produced at the local community theatre due to adult themes (puppets having sex) could have been a learning moment for viewers if Reese Witherspoon’s character had been aware of the Dramatist Legal Defense Fund & the National Coalition Against Censorship. Instead, she was backstage making out with the director!
On July 29, 2019, the impressive director of NCAC, Svetlana Mintcheva, accepted the DLDF Defender Award from the Dramatist Guild.
"Director of Programs, Svetlana Mintcheva, has been with NCAC for over a decade and has regularly collaborated with the DLDF and the Guild during that time to intervene when theater productions are threatened with cancellation. Recent cases include the withdrawal of public funds from a production of Calendar Girls in Georgia due to a perceived “implication” of nudity (though there is no nudity in the play), and the cancellation of a Wisconsin high school’s production of To Kill a Mockingbird due to the iconic work’s inclusion of the “n-word” in the context of challenging racism. The NCAC has also worked with the DLDF to create a resource for students and educators facing censorship in their schools, called The Show Must Go On: A Toolkit for Organizing Against Theater Censorship in Public Schools. Censorship of the arts will have a stronghold in our country as long as human rights are at risk."
Svetlana Mintcheva bio from the NCAC website:
She joined NCAC after years of academic teaching and research on post World War II art and literature. Having spent a large part of her academic career analyzing provocative art and its socio-political contexts, she is happy to be on the front lines protecting the coexistence of a diversity of voices in the cultural sphere. Svetlana has published and presented multiple papers on contemporary art and writing — most recently, she co-edited Censoring Culture: Contemporary Threats to Free Expression (2006, The New Press). She curated the 2007 exhibition Filth, Treason, Blasphemy?: Museums and censorship, at the McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum in Chicago, IL and conceived Exposing the Censor Within, a traveling interactive public art installation, which opened in California in March of 2007. An academic and an activist, Mintcheva has taught literature and critical theory at the University of Sofia, Bulgaria and at Duke University, from which she received her Ph.D. in critical theory in 1999. She currently teaches part-time at New York University. Her academic research and writing focus on postmodern literature and aesthetic provocations as well as issues in censorship and ethics.