When Ari Roth’s new play—My Calamitous Affair with the Minister of Culture and Censorship or Death of the Dialogic in the American Theater—opens next week, theatergoers will be in for a big surprise.
The play is a mystery in reverse, one that unfolds, mainly in flashback, in 26 scenes over a period of six years. Set on two continents—with action in Haifa, Tel Aviv, Chicago, and DC—the play features a cast of five slightly fictionalized characters.
The central character—Roth himself—is barely disguised. His name in the script is AD, short for “Founding Artistic Director Until Recently,” which is what he is and has been since his ouster 22 months ago from Mosaic Theater Company.
I recently had lunch with “AD”—aka Roth—at a local restaurant in Northwest, where we were joined by Debbie Minter Jackson, a colleague at DCTA and a dramaturg on the play.