"Intelligence" Arena State, Bush Administration, CIA, Ellen Miller, Guest Review, Jacqueline Lawton, Joe Wilson, Power Plays, Valerie Plame
(Guest post: Ellen Miller)
I admit it. I’m a New York theater snob.
When I got an invitation to join a good friend at a matinee performance yesterday at Arena Stage of the play, Intelligence, I winced. I couldn’t remember a play I had seen there in the last few years that I would recommend to anyone.
Nevertheless, I accepted, as the subject was of interest: a “fictionalized” account of the run up to the Iraq War and the role of Valerie Plame and her husband, Joe Wilson, challenging the Bush Administration and the CIA’s version of the truth.
The play was commissioned through Arena’s Power Plays series, each designed to explore an “idea, person or place in America” throughout our history. It was written by Jacqueline Lawton who began writing it in June of 2015.
You probably won’t go for the story. You know that if you live inside the Beltway Bubble of Washington, DC. But you should go for the lesson it teaches about the grave consequences of lying government officials, the lack of accountability of government policies, and the bravery of people in and out of government who confront both.
The play — 90 minutes with no intermission — is masterfully acted, dramatically written, and ably staged (and will keep you on the edge of your seat). The timing of its release is perfect. What you learn as you watch and reflect may give you some new resolve in the context of our politics..
See it. You only have a few more days as it closes Wed., April 2.
Ed. Note: Originally sold out, Intelligence has now been extended until April 9, and tickets are available. (h/t Susan B for this info.)