Sunday, April 22, 2012

At 85, Robert Brustein looks back and ahead - Arts - The Boston Globe:

Q. This is kind of a sweeping question, but I know you’re capable of a sweeping answer, so I’ll just ask you to give me your appraisal of the current state of American theater.

A. I’ll give you a sweeping statement, and regret it the moment after I say it. [Laughs] I think the American theater reflects America now, as everything that happens is beginning to reflect America — one-percent America. The fact is that our values have somehow gotten very skewed, and we’ve gone back — if we ever left it — to the notion that success is the highest value in this country. Not integrity, not quality, not intelligence, not spirit, not soul. Success, financial success. And this is a heartbreaker because this country was unlike any country, with the possible exception of ancient Greece; it had the chance to approach an ideal state, and it’s gone. We’ve lost it. Success seems to be the one criterion of achievement.