July 1, 2005: Headlines: Figures: COS - Ecuador: Writing - Ecuador: Development: Economics: Inside Bay Area: The show "Doing Good," is inspired by John Perkins' (RPCV Ecuador) "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man"

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Ecuador: Special Report: Ecuador RPCV and Author John Perkins: July 1, 2005: Headlines: Figures: COS - Ecuador: Writing - Ecuador: Development: Economics: Inside Bay Area: The show "Doing Good," is inspired by John Perkins' (RPCV Ecuador) "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man"

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The show "Doing Good," is inspired by John Perkins' (RPCV Ecuador) "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man"

 The show Doing Good, is inspired by John Perkins' (RPCV Ecuador) Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

"Doing Good" opens Saturday with shows at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and Monday at Dolores Park, 18th and Dolores streets, San Francisco. The tour continues through Sept. 5. Next weekend the show is at 2 p.m. at Cedar Rose Park, 1300 Rose St., Berkeley. Call (415) 285-1717 or visit http://www.sfmt.org for complete tour schedule.

The show "Doing Good," is inspired by John Perkins' (RPCV Ecuador) "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man"

Summer outdoor theater blooms in the Bay Area

[Excerpt]

The show is "Doing Good," and it was inspired by John Perkins' "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man."

"All of us in the collective felt it was an important book because it delves into history to answer the question: Why does the world hate us?" Sullivan says.

Joan Holden, a mainstay at the Mime Troupe for many years who is no longer a member of the collective, returns as dramaturg and is working with a writing team that includes Keiko Shimosato, Ellen Callas, Erin Blackwell and Jeffrey Morris.

Berkeley's Noah James Butler, a familiar face to Impact Theatre and TheatreFirst audiences, plays James, an idealistic American who, in 1968, joins the Peace Corps to change the world and is disillusioned by how little he is actually able to accomplish.

"That's when James turns to his wife's uncle who runs a giant corporation that works to bypass governments and simply build road and hydroelectric dams in developing countries," Butler says.

"But what James doesn't understand at first is that what he's doing has major repercussions for these countries and their cultures and economies."

Idealism corrupted by capitalism and profit making disguised as spreading democracy are major themes that emerge from "Doing Good," whose story spans the globe from Boston to Ecuador to Indonesia to Iran.

This is Butler's first time performing in a park setting, and he faces the double challenge of simply acting amid uncontrollable elements (weather, traffic noise, dogs, bugs in your mouth) and making a realistic drama not a farce communicate from the stage.

"There are some moments in the play that need to be quiet, but how do you do that outside?" Butler asks. "We're still figuring that out."

Sullivan adds that this is one of the challenges that made the notion of doing a serious show so appealing.

"How do you make realistic moments and make them big enough for the people way at the back of the park and not completely overacted for the people in the front row?" Sullivan says. "It's all about keeping the truth but making it big."

Thought-provoking political theater about serious international issues may not be what summer audiences are expecting, but Butler says he's thrilled to be part of something that asks audiences to use their brains.

"It becomes a lot more than simply doing your job when you can move someone to get up and take action or even if you just make them think," he says. "I can't remember the last time I left a theater thinking."

"Doing Good" opens Saturday with shows at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and Monday at Dolores Park, 18th and Dolores streets, San Francisco. The tour continues through Sept. 5. Next weekend the show is at 2 p.m. at Cedar Rose Park, 1300 Rose St., Berkeley. Call (415) 285-1717 or visit http://www.sfmt.org for complete tour schedule.





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Story Source: Inside Bay Area

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Figures; COS - Ecuador; Writing - Ecuador; Development; Economics

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