Robert Skloot


This review essay describes and evaluates the theatrical strategies and dramatic contributions of seven stage productions that represent recent examples of the Theater of Genocide. Taken together, they deal with Bosnia (Roel Adam), Cam- bodia (Catherine Filloux), Congo (Lynn Nottage), Darfur (Winter Miller), and Rwanda (Erik Ehn, J.T. Rogers and Dorcey Rugamba). The author focuses on a number of major issues in theater criticism: (a) the nature and effectiveness of empathy, (b) the use of white, Western characters to serve as surrogates for white, Western audiences’ emotional investment in the stories, and (c) the artistic use of historical events for theatrical, humane purposes. The essay strongly articulates the need of genocide scholarship to include discussions of the arts as it addresses the universal problem of human violence and the wholesale murder of innocents.