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Rules of Seconds

Published by USC Bedrosian Center on

Our inaugural episode of the Policy at the Playhouse podcast features a discussion the Latino Theater Company’s production of Rules of Seconds at the Los Angeles Theatre Center – presented in association with The Temblors. Set in Boston around 1855, the play, written by John Pollono, centers on a confrontation between a wealthy business man and a young man, resulting in weapons drawn at dawn.

In our discussion of the world premiere of John Pollono’s Rules of Seconds, we discuss how a period piece can and should reflect the present, how growing up in Boston brought aspects of toxic masculinity to the forefront of John’s thinking about the world and how he explores those issues in his writing. We touch on many themes in this conversation about the play, including gender norms, immigration, the role of rules in civil society, and the notion of blind allegiance to those rules/norms. Can breaking rules be the better option?

Featuring Meara Algama, Oliver Jai’Sen Mayer, John Pollono, and John Sonego

Listen to this episode click the orange button on the player here, or subscribe at iTunes, Soundcloud, or Google Play.

Gentlemen’s Blood: A History of Dueling by Barbara Holland



Let us know what you think of the play and/or our conversation at Facebook or Twitter.

This podcast continues our ongoing efforts to bring policy and its impact into the public discourse.

Special thanks to Dean Jack Knott, USC Price and Dean David Bridel, USC School of Dramatic Arts for their support of this interdisciplinary conversation.

This podcast was produced by Aubrey Hicks and Jonathan Schwartz, recorded and mixed by Corey Hedden.

Bedrosian Center