Larry Kramer Sounds Off on Tonya Pinkins' Exit from MOTHER COURAGE at Classic Stage Company

Larry Kramer Sounds Off on Tonya Pinkins' Exit from MOTHER COURAGE at Classic Stage Company

As BroadwayWorld previously reported, Tony Award-winner Tonya Pinkins announced on December 30th that she would be leaving Classic Stage Company's Off-Broadway production of Bertolt Brecht's Mother Courage and Her Children as of January 5th. The production began previewing on December 9th and was scheduled to open on January 7th but has been postponed until a replacement can be found. As of yesterday, both Pinkins and director Brian Kulick had commented on the situation (Read Tonya's full statement here, and read Kulick's lengthy response HERE).

Playwright Larry Kramer (THE NORMAL HEART) has come out in support of his friend Tonya Pinkins in a lengthy Facebook post. "I totally support you in this necessary stance and confrontation," Kramer writes. "Rarely have I read such 'artistic' bullshit as Kulick is vomiting out. Doing productions of Shakespeare or opera classics in modern settings does not allow for editing out an hour of text."

Kramer goes on to say how much he believes Brecht himself would agree with Pinkins' interpretation, "I hope someone more suitable comes along to allow you to perform Brecht's entire play along the heroic interpretation you envisioned. I long to see that."

Read Kramer's comments in full below.

TO THE GREAT TONYA PINKINS ON THE OCCASION OF HER TELLING THE DIRECTOR OF THE CLASSIC STAGE COMPANY TO STUFF IT FOR HIS BUTCHERING OF HER "MOTHER COURAGE":
tonya you are a magnificent artist and activist and thinker. we worked together ages ago and i knew it then. i totally support you in this necessary stance and confrontation. rarely have i read such 'artistic' bullshit as kulick is vomiting out. doing productions of shakespeare or opera classics in modern settings does not allow for editing out an hour of text. how dare the fucker! that is not "collaborative" working it out together. that is fascistic stupidity. the quotes from brecht he sites are ripped entirely out of context. read some of the prose that brecht wrote while trying to escape McCarthy in los angeles and america; he was actualy living mother courage himself in that time and place because he hated america so. yes, he saw that we don't learn from history. the great writers have known this since ancient greece. that is history's tragedy. that is mother courage's tragedy--that history won't allow her to change and she knows it. yes, she survives. as do we all until we die. some of us try to hold our heads high, as you and your mother courage elect to try. for the record, i think this was one of meryl's less convincing performances. i felt in some way that she did not understand this play and the charactr she was portraying; but at least tony kushner and george wolfe gave her something whole to challenge. i hope someone more suitable comes along to allow you to perform brecht's entire play along the heroic interpretation you envisioned. i long to see that. much love. i admire you so. larry

Mother Courage and Her Children, directed by Kulick and featuring original music by Tony Award winner Duncan Sheik, continues CSC's exploration of the works of Bertolt Brecht with a look at his most famous play. The indomitable Mother Courage follows one luckless army after another across a war-torn world in her canteen wagon. She'll do anything to hold onto her money-making wagon, even if it means the loss of her children, in this timeless tale of war and big business updated to the modern-day conflagration in the Congo.

The cast includes Joshua Boone, Curtiss Cook Jr., Kevin Mambo, Jacob Ming-Trent, Geoffrey Owens, Michael Potts, Deandre Sevon, Mirirai Sithole and Zenzi Williams. Set design is byTony Straiges, costume design by Toni-Leslie James, lighting design by Justin Townsend and sound design by Matt Stine.

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