Bright Room Called Day Essay

Submitted By bgatesschade
Words: 2591
Pages: 11

Bradley Gates-Schade
Front Range Community College

SOC-101
Dr. Mary Hill
November 1, 2014

The play “A Bright Room Called Day” is a provocative production, contrasting the rise of Hitler to power with the Republican Party’s growing power during the Reagan Administration. By connecting these two very different time periods with scenes set in the same apartment only separated by decades of time and social change, the play effectively causes one to think back on the history that has led up to our present day social climate. This particular chain of events come from a time in Germany during the 1930’s when the Weimar Republic is falling by the wayside to make way for Hitler and his Nazi Party to rise up into their now historical role. Tony Kushner aims to leave us pondering our own present day political climate and whether or not we are really prepared for or aware of the fact that history very well could repeat itself. As we eavesdrop into a not so forgotten time when democracy failed and fell to fascism we are able to see just what things may be like by watching this group of friends experience such instability and uncertainty. The main vehicle used to convey the message in this production was most likely the characters themselves and their raw emotions they display in regards to what is going on around them. By seeing their reactions and simply hearing them speak about what events they are experiencing, I was able to get a deep feel for how truly terrified they were inside and how badly they wanted to believe that everything would just work out. Having lived in and grown up in Germany during the fourteen years of the Weimar Republic, the characters were most likely used to some form of stability. The Weimar Republic, although not perfect by any means, at least gave the generation of youth that the cast came from, some semblance of a positive social environment. At the same time, the Weimar Republic refused to comply with disarmament stipulations of the Treaty of Versailles and therefore the cast was likely quite used to a military state and used to the threat of war also. The major conflict faced by the cast being that the lives that they have come to know and love are at stake now. Although things weren’t perfect, they all had until now been able to live their lives how they chose to, with little to no regard for any undesirable consequences. Agnes being a white collar working woman that supported herself shows us just how free the society truly was in regards to gender roles and norms, allowing for many of the cast members to live somewhat abnormal existences. It is through our study of these different characters and their respective classes and genders that we can gain real sociological understanding of just exactly what each respective member went through. Although the Weimar constitution did attempt to implement some form of gender equality and given the roles acted out by the women characters, society was somewhat liberal. Despite that fact it was still going to take more than that to overcome the powers of tradition, especially within the Nazi party and therefore the female characters experience was vastly different from any of the male characters. That is not to say that Baz being a homosexual in the very beginning of the 1900’s didn’t cause him to live in another totally different reality, or that Husz being of a different descent and race than the others didn't cause his experience to differ radically. One can gain a much deeper understanding of these roles by examining the specific genders and social classes of the characters. The cast of “A Bright Room Called Day” consisted of characters that I think intentionally were from some of the most controversial ends of the spectrum in regards to race, class and gender. First, we had arguably the “main” character, Agnes, who is an aspiring actress, torn between staying true to her beliefs and integrity and ensuring her safety and well-being in the midst…