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I, Ratburn

Written in Residence at Akademie Schloss Solitude

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In, 2019, most of America watched in delight as Mr. Ratburn, a beloved teacher on the beloved cartoon show Arthur, got married to his male partner in a very special episode called "Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone". Alabama Public Television refused to air the episode, claiming to do so would violate the audience’s trust. But how to explain what happened to the audience of Alabama school children, eagerly wondering why they've been denied "Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone"?

 

Luckily, Alabama tax dollars have gone to hire an unemployed former Shakespearean (and TOTALLY HETEROSEXUAL, because obviously) actor to go from Alabama public school to Alabama public school in a one man show as Mr. Ratburn, providing an alternate version of Mr. Ratburn’s Special Friend which fills in all the possible gaps.

 

But at this very special performance, the provided answers aren’t cutting it. And as the logic begins to unravel, so does the performer who’s already hanging on by a thread in this wild, inventive, gut-busting and heart wrenching foray into Southern politics, queer identity, media manipulation, childhood nostalgia, and the lies we are taught and participate in teaching each day.

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