By Steven Dietz. Directed by Lila M. Stromer. With Laura Ames, John McCormick, Danny O'Connor, Alex Gunn. Boxer Rebellion Theatre.
It's hard to fault a play that seeks to lay bare the moral bankruptcy of white supremacy. So for that reason alone, one must respect the intentions of God's Country, a "docudrama" recording the rise of the Order, a white supremacist group that gained power in the mid-1980s. Using excerpts from court transcripts, narrated histories and fictionalized monologues, a cast of 12 actors recounts the Order's history, culminating in the assassination of Denver talk show host Alan Berg.
Unfortunately, Dietz offers few insights other than the most obvious: White supremacy is a deeply troubling and dangerous philosophy. Rather than delving into the reasons why this movement might be gaining power at this particular time and place, he opts for thin caricatures, and bludgeons the audience with interminably long re-creations of Aryan rants. The play is loose, rambling and overblown, oddly like the trademark harangues of the movement it seeks to excoriate. The result is an almost pornographic fascination with this philosophy, which paradoxically blunts the play's impact through overexposure.
The cast gets a nod for undertaking the Herculean task of mastering this sprawling text, but its efforts are, for the most part, squandered. Too many actors play too many roles in a sea of defendants, lawyers, recruits, wives and victims. They're helped neither by lumbering pacing nor Stromer's leaden staging, which only exacerbate the script's problems.—Kay Daly