This is in response to the review of the current production of Terrence McNally’s Corpus Christi [July 20], being performed at the Bailiwick Theatre, and the subsequent response to it in the Letters section [July 27]. Kerry Reid, a person evidently hired by your publication to “review” the play, ranted on and on about how the play was misogynistic. The play does make several points, but none of them, I fear, have anything to do with misogyny. Female characters in the play (and yes, they are all portrayed by male actors, as called for in the script) are treated no differently, with any less respect, than the male characters. The point the playwright makes is that the world we live in has become corrupted by selfishness, greed, and the inability of human beings to adhere to the Golden Rule. In one scene early on in the play, the character of God talks with Joshua (the Jesus character), telling him to show pity toward these persons and to forgive those who commit these wrongs.
In last week’s Letters section, Bailiwick artistic director David Zak pointed out (and quite accurately too) the ineptitude of the reviewer. Following this letter was a response from said reviewer, Ms. Reid, in which she once again proved her inability to check the facts before saying something that proves herself unworthy of being taken seriously. She states that she hadn’t read the script of Corpus Christi prior to reviewing the show. And further states that she has “subsequently learned that the juxtaposition of the knuckle-rapping nun with the Crucifixion scene is not in the script.” I ask Ms. Reid to turn to page 76 of the Grove Press printing of the script where she will find the scene she is talking about, wherein a nun is juxtaposed slapping the knuckles of a student while Joshua is being scourged and mocked by his captors, just prior to the Crucifixion.
When I went to high school every teacher that I had warned us before we began work on term papers that we must check our sources twice before writing our papers. It appears Ms. Reid didn’t bother to check her sources once before making a fool out of herself twice. The fact that she is employed as a theater critic by one of this city’s more reputable publications is a joke!
Costumes & Props
Kerry Reid replies:
Sincere apologies to Stephen Rader for failing to confirm this information firsthand. In the past, I’ve learned not to trust my own memory. Now I know not to trust other people’s, either. My objections to the scene rightly belong to playwright, and not the director.