Eric Schaeffer
Theater director

Eric Schaeffer

Co-founder and artistic director for Signature Theatre in Arlington, which won the 2009 Regional Theatre Tony Award for sustained artistic excellence.

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Power to the people

Q: What's a politician to do? Voters rejected the incumbents in this week's primaries in Pennsylvania and Kentucky (and Arkansas Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln faces a runoff), shirking experience for new faces. What is so attractive about upstarts? In your experience, are you more likely to achieve success as a wise insider or a brash outsider?

I think there was a movement for change that began with President Obama's campaign, and it hasn't stopped. I think it's not so much the idea of a wise insider or a brash outsider as it is for a renewed, youthful spirit in Washington. I think people are tired of the old and want some new energy in the Capitol to try and actually get something done.

In the end, will it really change? I doubt it -- there is too much lobbying and role playing. No one takes charge or takes the blame -- we see that daily with the oil spill in the Gulf.

But I do feel that people want someone with energy and a new spirit who will actually try and get things done rather than play a political game. Our politics have become too political. It's become a game onto itself.

In future elections, it's going to catch up with a number of people who have been serving for years and years in Congress. You can do all the grandstanding in the world, but you have to stay in touch and contact with your own people to feel the pulse of the land every day and not just six weeks prior to an election.

It's no different from doing theatre. I go back to watch my productions every few weeks and give notes to keep them in line and meet with the companies. Politicians can't wait for the people to come to them -- they have to go to the people. That will guarantee change and leadership.

By Eric Schaeffer  |  May 24, 2010; 12:00 AM ET  | Category:  Experience vs. hunger Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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