If you were among those at last summer’s DSA National Convention, you may have watched a virtual staged production of Marx in SoHo by Howard Zinn that offered eight Comrade Karls and explored the exciting possibilities about what constitutes “political education.” In this article, the play’s director de- scribes the process and ways in which local chapters can use the play in real time. —Eds.
Why does cultural work matter for movement building on the Left? Why produce a play for a political convention at all?
Cultural historian Johan Huizinga once said, “The eternal gulf between being and idea can only be bridged by the rain- bow of imagination.” A comrade of mine put this into plainer words: “You can point people to that bridge of imagination, but you can’t walk it for them.” They have to opt in. So how does one single, fragile, human psyche stand before the miseries of this world and choose to step forward? To fight?