GCC Professor Kirt Shineman’s play, “The Pornographer” has been chosen as one of 50 to be presented from more than 400 national entries in the 2011 Great Plains Theatre Conference PlayLabs in Omaha, Nebraska. The plays are being paneled by GPTC featured artists including: Tony- and Pulitzer-nominated playwright Lee Blessing; Obie-winning dramatist Mac Wellman; United States Latina playwright, translator, lyricist and editor Caridad Svich; and acclaimed playwright Constance Congdon. The Conference PlayLabs run concurrently from May 28 – June 4. A director and cast rehearse the plays prior to a public reading. A panel of theatre professionals, academicians and the audience provide public feedback about the reading.
Playwright Shineman describes “The Pornographer:” When the young artist Egon Schiele is charged with raping and kidnapping a young girl as well as immoral and depraved behavior, he fights against the authorities. His ordeal places art and artists’ lifestyles on trial. We question who should decide what we and our children see. Egon was one of the most influential painters to emerge from Vienna at the turn of the century. He was as controversial then as Robert Mapplethorpe, Georg Baselitz and Madonna are now. This is a timely play with the social crisis of sexting, government surveillance and the recent Miller et al. v. Skumanick, a child pornography case. The play asks: can a government legitimately prohibit citizens from publishing or viewing pornography, or would this be an unjustified violation of basic freedoms? “The Pornographer” paints a portrait of how institutions determine who and what we see.