The Young Hicksian, Marxist Playwright, Speaks Again

Sander Hicks sander at
Sun Dec 2 10:33:08 MST 2001

Hello Again, Marx List.

It's good to see that the discussion about my play The Breaking Light
has inspired discussion of my hero Wallace Shawn, as well as an
informative exchange on the definition of porn.

This inspires me to suggest we take this to a whole new level. On
December 5th, a few of the the NYC members of this list will gather at
the good old Parkside Lounge on E. Houston (just east of Ave B) in
NYC, have a few drinks, talk, and then go around the corner to the
theatre and see the show. Please come, hang out and go with us. Meet
at the bar. Wear a hat. It's not just about email on Dec. 5th. It's
about action.       ...and drinking. And action.

We have a reviewer from Time Out NY coming that night and we really
need to pack the house full of lively thinkers. We need an audience
that is vocal, politically engaged and a part of the struggle that's
taking place on stage.  We at least need folks who will laugh at the

The info on the show is below. I thought I'd also continue to whet the
collective appetite with another sneak peak at the script-here's
heroine Calculatrice's speech from the climax of the show-you see,
she's a capitalist new media "radical" who over the course of the play
makes a transition to being a revolutionary hero, with the help of
friendly marxists and hegelians. (as you may remember from my last

If you'd like to come out with us on Dec. 5th, please email me. It's
$15, but if someone is unemployed and need some help, certainly
arrangements will be made.


          Fellow Candy-Makers. I thank the union that brought me into this
     company for the opportunity to address you here today.

          We've stopped the production because we are going to be
     attacked. Can I be frank? The rich have run this country all its
     life. How many years have we wanted to DO something about it?

          Labor has only one control: we have our hands on the levers of
     production. We can shut down the whole thing at any time. It's time
     now to draw a line in the sand, look up, and say NO. The way you
     demagogues do things is not as perfect as you think. You're fired. You
     say you have the vision of excellence? I don't think you act like
     it. We'll show you excellence. We'll show you a work ethic.       

          To their own the rich teach a special formula: Their God is the
     belief that one has control. You are proactive, you have a choice, all
     your actions don't have to be reactions. Break your habits. They are
     not special. Freedom has been the exclusive domain of the rich, the
     rulers, the parasites, the managers. Until now.

          Freedom is not judged by the ability to make a killing in your
     lifetime. Freedom doesn't mean taking your position in the dog-eat-dog
     feeding frenzy. It means changing your mind. Take control over your
     own life first, then we take the whole machine.

          I speak with you today, here in the majority, the people who
     don't always want more of everything. The people who instead just want
     to survive, and be happy, and take care of each other.

          Leonard Kildare and the renegade shareholders seem really
     threatened by us. Is it just the disruption of my ideas? Yes, and
     more. The creation of workplace democracy here in factory really
     scares them. If the sore losers are gonna launch an attack on our new
     structure, who's willing to stand up and fight? We have something
     stronger than their weapons to defend our factory. We have freedom. We
     have real democracy. I say we take a stand. They've pushed us around
     all our lives, who's willing to push back? Who's in? 'Who's down for
     the whole thing?



The Breaking Light by Sander Hicks
Produced by Soft Skull at Present Company Theatorium
November 28 - December 15
Wednesday - Saturday
10:00 PM Curtain
Sander Hicks, founder of the radical publishing company Soft Skull, originally
wrote The Breaking Light at the birth of the dot com frenzy, when New Media
culture and hype tried to make sense of the information revolution. With the dot
com bust, Hicks revised Breaking Light to be a biting reassessment of our
society's core values. Director Peter Hawkins (Eat the Runt, world premiere) is
proud to mount this challenging work.

In a recent speaking engagement at the Prose Acts Festival in Buffalo New York,
literary critic Douglas Manson had this to say about the Breaking Light in his
introduction for Mr. Hicks,
 In his play "The Breaking Light," Sander Hicks describes the emergence of
ideological crisis...embodied in the terms by which our current politics are
wrought:  boardroom bragadoccio, cutthroat rivalries, cynical marketing
strategies and demagogic self-help rituals."
Last Fall, in Los Angeles, The Breaking Light enjoyed critical praise:
"The Breaking Light Sander Hicks' dark-as-night satire knowingly skewers
corporate avarice. The workers do indeed rise up, but Hicks wisely resists the
temptation to pretty up the carnage."
        -Sandra Ross, LA Weekly
In a March 2001 feature on Sander Hicks in Silicon Alley Reporter, Donna Ladd
said The Breaking Light, "is silly, refreshing and very clever. It hops like its
author from thought to thought, but with a logical, tongue-in-cheek
foundation. Hicks himself is critical of the play, writing in an email that it
is a 'sprawling chaotic machine. It tries to think all the thoughts at once.'"
Sander Hicks is a member of New Dramatists and has written five plays to
critical acclaim. His collection of dramatic work, The Breaking Manager, was
published in 1999. Hicks recently received media attention when he re-published
Fortunate Son: George W. Bush and the Making of an American President, landing
him on 60 Minutes, and helping Soft Skull to win "Outstanding Independent Press
of the Year," at the Firecracker Alternative Book Awards, on June 3, 2000.
The Breaking Light
by Sander Hicks
Directed by Peter Hawkins
Present Company Theatorium
198 Stanton Street
Reservations: (212) 420-8877
 For more information
Sander Hicks, Soft Skull (631) 424 1291
sander at

"so I say to the youth right now, don't sway to the unjust, no matter what
 they say, never give in, never give in" - Bad Brains
Sander Hicks

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