Biden Takes Step Toward Revitalizing the Arts, Pledges to Attend 100 Zoom Readings in First 100 Days
by Mary Colussi. @marycolussi.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — While the nation struggles to recover from a pandemic, economic hardship, and James Corden’s performance in The Prom, newly inaugurated President Joe Biden has announced a courageous plan to combat what may be the most troubling crisis of all: Poorly attended Zoom readings.
“If I can’t - or won’t, let’s not rule out won’t - offer the arts financial relief, then I will offer this: I’ll attend 100 Zoom readings in my first 100 days in office,” stated Biden from the Oval Office, where he later refused to comment on the existence of either aliens or the Cats butthole cut. “These new works will have my complete attention for the first and last five minutes, just in case the writer asks me what I thought afterwards.”
The announcement drew mixed reactions from his advisors, one of whom agreed to speak to us on the basis of anonymity, and a promise not to invite them to any experimental one-acts.
“Trump didn’t attend a single Zoom reading, and it’s the only choice he made that garnered bipartisan support,” claimed the advisor, who cut our conversation short when invited to a virtual open mic, instead. “We don’t need to see your ‘new and innovative take on pandemic storytelling’ while we’re trying to develop a new and innovative take on not having a pandemic.”
Rufus Quinn, one of the selected playwrights, was thrilled to have this opportunity, or any opportunity, really.
“My piece is the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, only instead of the Underworld, Eurydice goes to art school in New York City,” said Quinn, who didn’t want to come to the open mic, even when told he wouldn’t have to turn his camera on. “It’s a comment on the student debt crisis in America, and specifically my student debt crisis, because when I heard the president would be attending the reading, I added a new character, played by me, who enters at the very end to tell him to forgive $50,000 or be condemned to a hell ruled over by Betsy DeVos.”
President Biden hopes his gesture will be appreciated by the theatre community, and get them to stop asking why Broadway stars performed a “Seasons of Love/Let the Sunshine In” medley for the inauguration, when Spring Awakening’s “Totally Fucked” was right there.