In David Mamet’s new play The Anarchist, two-time Tony winner Patti LuPone heads behind bars to play an “inmate with a radical past” who is now seeking parole. Beyond that brief description, not many details have been revealed about the latest project from the notoriously hush-hush Mamet. In its Fall Entertainment Guide, Elle Magazine reports that LuPone’s character may be loosely based on former Weather Underground member Judith Clark.
Clark was a political activist and one of the most prominent members of the radical and dangerous Weather Underground Organization. She has also been linked to the Black Panthers, the May 19th Communist Organization and the Black Liberation Army. A police target for 10 years, Clark was arrested in 1981 for her involvement in an armored truck robbery that left three people dead, including two police men. Though she only drove the getaway car, Clark was charged with three counts of felony murder and was sentenced to the maximum penalty allowed by the law (75 years to life).
After an unsuccesful escape attempt in 1985, Clark became rehabilitated and publicly apologized for her crimes. While in prison, Clark received a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree and published poetry in The New Yorker and The Prison Journal. Clark filed an appeal in 2006, which was overturned. She then petitioned for clemency in 2010 and was denied by departing New York Governor David Paterson. Clark will serve until 2056 unless current governor Andrew Cuomo grants her clemency.
Check out LuPone and co-star Debra Winger in The Anarchist beginning November 13 at the Golden Theatre.