Obama Drama

Obama Drama


During his eight years in the Oval Office, Bush inspired countless lampoons and parodies, not to mention grander investigations of himself and his policies, such as Fahrenheit 911 and W.  Obama, too, has already become fodder for the creative community, though the impetus behind such dramatizations (obviously) differs greatly.

From the string of “Obama Girl” YouTube videos and women of all ages and races professing to have crushes on Obama to the endless magazine covers bearing his image to his campaign’s careful crafting of his legacy-in-the-making by aligning him with icons such as MLK, Jr. and Lincoln to US Weekly queries into his Gucci loafers, Obama has achieved not just celebrity, but mythic, status in our culture—and all this just during the campaign process.  No wonder, then, that before Obama even entered office, author Teddy Hayes (an American author who has resided in England for over a decade) was at work on his musical, Obama on My Mind, which premiered at the Hens and Chickens Theater in Islington, a London borough, on March 3 and ran until March 21. The play, which explores the atmosphere and key players in the Obama campaign office, features pop, rock, gospel and jazz songs.  On his official website (cited below), Hayes makes plain his desire to celebrate Obama’s inauguration, hence the timeliness of the play’s production. 


See link below for review of Obama on My Mind by Lyn Gardner for The Guardian


See link below for review from playbill.com


Drama and politics have fueled one another since the beginning of time.  For Bush this played out with him as more pawn than player; everything thus far indicates the reverse will be true of Obama.  It is not by accident that an article in the New York Times this past Tuesday on Obama’s careful handling of the AIG bonus predicament began by alluding to Obama’s “stagecraft,” and not his statecraft.  The former term (in English usage according to OED), coined in 1882, simply refers to the art of staging drama, while the latter, coined in 1642, refers to conducting affairs of state, often with the sinister implications of craftiness or overreaching.  When stagecraft is used to describe the behavior and decision-making of politicians, however, the difference in meaning between the two terms seems to be not just subtle, but virtually nonexistent.  With all this said, the drama of politics seems to have been in the script so to speak for Obama for some time, as indicated by the title of a NYT article from March 18, 2004 by Monica Davey, just one of many journalists with an eye on the rising Obama: “As Quickly as Overnight, A Democratic Star is Born.”


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