We don’t usually link to or screenshot the right-wing news site Breitbart, but the headline “Trump NEA Grants $20K for Lesbian Illegal Alien Musical” is just too good to resist. That wonderful word salad of wingnut agitprop refers to our very own San Francisco Mime Troupe, the guerrilla musical theater ensemble who have been bringing free outdoor shows to the parks for more than 50 years. This year’s annual Mime Troupe production is called Walls, and it premieres this weekend in Berkeley and will have its traditional July 4th show in Dolores Park next week. And it is indeed a “lesbian illegal alien musical,” as described.
Breitbart seethes that “U.S. taxpayers are on the hook for $20,000 in funding to a San Francisco musical about a criminal illegal alien lesbian with mental health issues who is in love with an immigration agent. The funding for the musical, ‘Walls,’ comes from the Trump Administration’s National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) which is still under the leadership of Obama holdover, Chairman Jane Chu.”
This funding is not unusual, and NEA grant search data shows that this is the third year in a row the Mime Troupe has received that $20,000 grant. The Mime Troupe got a grant as large as $50,000 in 2012, and its NEA grant history goes back to 1998 when they received a $45,000 grant to cover a three-year period.
But it is definitely amusing that the ultraconservative derp state has its picnic blankets in a bunch over the “Trump NEA” and a lesbian illegal alien musical. It is much less amusing that Trump has proposed eliminating the NEA entirely.
The plot of Walls revolves around an ICE agent and her star-crossed romance with an undocumented immigrant. In addition to the traditional July 4th and Labor Day weekend shows in Dolores Park, Walls has free regular performances scheduled at Bay Area parks all summer.
‘Walls’ plays Tuesday, July 4 at 2 p.m. in Dolores Park, with shows Saturday, July 1 and Sunday, July 2 at 2 p.m. in Berkeley’s Cedar Rose Park. Additional shows are scheduled throughout the summer, all shows are free.