Eve Ensler's O.P.C. [Obsessive Political Correctness]


Thursday, December 4, 2014, 7:30pm


American Repertory Theater, 64 Brattle St., Cambridge, MA

OPC posterFollowed by a Discussion with Jane Mansbridge and Aisha Bhoori

About the Event
The Ash Center is partnering again with A.R.T. on a post-performance discussion for the new play O.P.C., written by Eve Ensler (creator of The Vagina Monologues). Our featured speakers will be Jane Mansbridge, a world-renowned scholar of democratic representation, deliberation, and activism, and Aisha Bhoori, a Harvard College student interested in literary criticism, political theory, and social justice, who will speak on the political and generational themes of the play.

O.P.C. is an exploration of consumption and politics that asks, “How are we to survive as a species if we insist on destroying the world we love?” A dumpster-diving freegan (Olivia Thirlby, Juno) is doing just fine squatting in an abandoned apartment, but when her mother (Melissa Leo, The Fighter), a candidate running for the Senate, tries to make her toe the party line, radicalism comes into collision with mainstream liberalism. Mother and daughter wrestle with the inconvenient truths at the heart of consumer culture, tossed between political compromise and “obsessive political correctness.” One of the themes of the play is the intergenerational relationship between the mother and her daughter. The mother, a liberal feminist, has raised her daughter to be open minded, to see the world in progressive ways, and to live in the world according to those values. But she also has this expectation that her daughter will not live outside the box, much less from a garbage can. The daughter has chosen to opt out because she sees this world that her mother’s generation has helped to create, and she isn’t buying it.

Watch the O.P.C. Teaser

View Photos from the Event

About the Speakers

Jane J. Mansbridge, Adams Professor of Political Leadership and Democratic Values at the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy, is the author of Beyond Adversary Democracy, an empirical and normative study of face-to-face democracy, and the award-winning Why We Lost the ERA, a study of anti-deliberative dynamics in social movements based on organizing for an Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. She is also editor or coeditor of the volumes Beyond Self-Interest, Feminism, and Oppositional Consciousness. Her current work includes studies of representation, democratic deliberation, everyday activism, and the public understanding of collective action problems.

Aisha Bhoori is a freshman at Harvard College and prospective concentrator in Government and Philosophy. She is interested in harnessing literary criticism and political theory to promote social justice – whether as a journalist or politician. On campus, she examines the dialectic as Associate Books and Arts Editor of the Harvard Political Review, promotes awareness of intersectional feminism as a Board member of Harvard’s International Women’s Rights Collective, performs spoken word poetry with Speak Out Loud, and upholds progressive ideals through the Harvard College Democrats. Her second home is the Institute of Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, where she combats paternalistic activism in the Community Action Committee, debates in Harvard Political Union, and examines Massachusetts turnaround school models in the Education Policy Group. In her free time, Aisha contributes to Her Campus Harvard and Harvard’s Journal for Public Interest. Her pieces have been featured in the Axis of Logic, Azizah: The Voice for Muslim Women, The Copperfield Review, Dog Eat Crow Magazine, Eunoia Review, the Middletown Patch, SuhaibWebb.com, Three Line Poetry, and United 4 Social Change. You can contact her via email at aishabhoori@college.harvard.edu.