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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

Marx in Soho to be performed at URI Sept. 29

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KINGSTON, R.I. -- September 6, 2005 -- Karl Marx is back, having negotiated with afterlife authorities for a chance to clear his name. Instead of being sent to his old stomping grounds in London, the philosopher, social scientist, historian, revolutionary, and foremost socialist thinker lands in the Soho district of New York, thanks to a bureaucratic blunder.

That’s the premise for a one-man play, appropriately called Marx in Soho, which will be performed at the University of Rhode Island’s Edwards Auditorium on Sept. 29 at 7:30 p.m. The play is free and open to the public.

Playwright Howard Zinn, a professor emeritus at Boston University, perhaps best known for his book, A People’s History of the United States, introduces audiences to Marx’s life, his analysis of society, and his passion for radical change.

Richard McIntyre, professor of economics at URI, will serve as the play’s producer. “I ‘produced’ this play at a UMass conference in 2000 and also took my class to see it in Boston that year. I wanted to do it at URI because for the past two years my Economics 100 students have been reading and enjoying the play and I thought it would be fun for them to see it,” McIntyre says.

The play humanizes Marx, portraying his difficulty in pursuing his writing and political projects amidst his family life and continuing poverty. Around descriptions of family life, "Marx" weaves criticisms and appreciations of contemporary capitalism.

“One doesn’t really learn Marx's economics from this play, but it is Marx the family man not the demi-god or demon who is portrayed, and we learn something about both how capitalism has changed since Marx's time and how it hasn't,” the professor adds.

Brian Jones, an actor and activist, who has been performing this engaging one-man show across the country since 1999, will portray Marx. Jones studied acting and directing at Brown University. He recently lent his voice to the audio recording of Noam Chomsky’s book, Hegemony or Survival, and to several staged readings from Zinn’s latest book, Voices of a People’s History of the United States.

The URI Honors Program and the Office of the Provost sponsor the performance. Co-sponsors include URI’s Multicultural Center, Schmidt Labor Research Center and the departments of economics, philosophy, history, political science, and sociology.

For more information, contact McIntyre at 874-4126 or