Sincerity Forever

Kristin Jones

Mac Wellman intended Sincerity Forever to be a counterpunch in the culture wars, a profanity against America's own belief in its exceptional destiny and its superpower optimism. Back when the show debuted (1990), Jesse Helms was fighting the noble battle against the daunting power of Piss Christ and the NEA. Wellman took the other side, although the NEA was reportedly none too thrilled at being associated with a play that depicts hooded Klansmen having gay sex and a black woman named Jesus H Christ who arrives on the scene and tells everyone to fuck off. This attempt at channeling the filth, by Bad Attitude Productions, lacks the sting one would hope for, but eventually manages to work itself into a decent froth. The action opens with Judy (Jennifer Steiskal) and Molly (Meg DiSciorio), two youngsters in Klan robes, having a staggeringly inane conversation about the overpowering goodness of, you guessed it, sincerity. Their small town of Hillsbottom is home to much such blather about young crushes and hurt feelings, and the arrival of the female Jesus passes without much notice. Wellman has different characters speaking the same drivel, apparently expressing his contempt for American discourse by not bothering to write new dialogue for each of his robed idiots. Here the effect is fairly flat, though the arrival of Furball One (Kortney Simpson) and Furball Two (Aaron Konigsmark) seems to have a salutary effect. This pair leers and sneers, providing a running blistering commentary on Hillsbottom's youth. Eventually we get to the (hollow) core of the piece: the emptiness of both the mainstream and those who hold themselves above it.

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