Jack L. B. Gohn

Writer, Critic & Playwright

Jack L. B. Gohn

Writer, Critic & Playwright

 

Though I practiced law for over a third of a century,

I have been a writer from childhood.

And even with a full-time practice, I never really stopped publishing in various papers, magazines and journals. I was bound to reach a point eventually of deciding I wanted to be a writer and nothing else. This website features three things I do now that the point has been reached. I review theater, write plays, and for a decade and a half, wrote a column commenting on law and policy. Common to all these pursuits is a commitment to fact and principles. You can’t run a society or write a play (or about one) well without candor, consistency, and a sense of humaneness and decency. Embodied in these pages is the history of my efforts in each of these pursuits.

Plays by Jack Gohn

I largely write about lawyers, but these are not conventional lawyer dramas. There’s a story of how legal careers begin, another about how they (and others) end. There’s a ghost story. There’s a thriller that does not include a single courtroom scene. And, moving away from my former profession, there’s a play about God – maybe told from God’s perspective, maybe not. And there will be more.

Theater Reviews & Commentary

Most Recent Post

New Modes of Representation Forcing Reexamination of Oldtime Heroes: MEN ON BOATS at Baltimore Center Stage

Jaclyn Backhaus’s Men on Boats, now appearing at Baltimore Center Stage, is a gently amiable but persistently subversive take on America’s age of exploration. It recreates the 1869 expedition of John Wesley Powell and nine others down the Green and Colorado Rivers and into the Grand Canyon on a presidentially-ordained voyage of discovery. As the play is at pains to show us, the trip was a voyage of discovery only from the perspective of certain white Protestant men, since Native Americans lived along the route – and white Mormons dwelt close by as well. But only when the river and surrounding lands were surveyed and mapped by certain kinds of white men could they truly be considered part of the American imperium. While the travelers can acknowledge that various people “have run these streams” before them, including “natives” and military deserters, these predecessors were persons whom “no one counts.” That laughably foreshortened perspective does not rob the travelers of bravery, resilience, or grit. It just makes their heroic sacrifices less consequential than they understand.

read more

Theater Reviews & Commentary

Most Recent Post

New Modes of Representation Forcing Reexamination of Oldtime Heroes: MEN ON BOATS at Baltimore Center Stage

Jaclyn Backhaus’s Men on Boats, now appearing at Baltimore Center Stage, is a gently amiable but persistently subversive take on America’s age of exploration. It recreates the 1869 expedition of John Wesley Powell and nine others down the Green and Colorado Rivers and into the Grand Canyon on a presidentially-ordained voyage of discovery. As the play is at pains to show us, the trip was a voyage of discovery only from the perspective of certain white Protestant men, since Native Americans lived along the route – and white Mormons dwelt close by as well. But only when the river and surrounding lands were surveyed and mapped by certain kinds of white men could they truly be considered part of the American imperium. While the travelers can acknowledge that various people “have run these streams” before them, including “natives” and military deserters, these predecessors were persons whom “no one counts.” That laughably foreshortened perspective does not rob the travelers of bravery, resilience, or grit. It just makes their heroic sacrifices less consequential than they understand.

read more

“You can’t run a society or write a play well without candor, consistency, or a sense of humaneness and decency. The critic, the creator, the pundit: all of them are guard dogs protecting these values.”

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