Controversial art has always faced the threat of censorship, whether it’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin or the video of an ant-covered Christ that was yanked from the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery last year.
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Playwright Martin McDonagh makes the case that artistic freedom always trumps the potential for offending someone in The Pillowman, opening at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, February 3 at Desert Stages Theatre’s Actor’s Café. “It has a beautiful message, but it’s very in-your-face,” says director Janis Webb.
The show follows the interrogation of Katurian, a writer of horrific tales about child murder, and his disturbed brother. Though scenes including one where electric shocks are delivered via a battery are intense, Webb says there are a few moments of levity in the script that will help break the tension. “No one could stand two hours of intense torture and graphic murder without some humor,” she quips.
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