Saturday, January 28, 2006

How I See MEATLOCKER, the lead in my next show

Void, then the slow sound of deep breathing. A strong, unapologetic breath that is almost, almost vulgar. A harsh overhead pin of light accompanies every other inhalation, carving out MEATLOCKER'S back from the darkness, a mass of naked muscle in an uncomfortable hue of blue, pocked with purple bruises. It is his breathing that we hear, and as he exhales and his shoulders lower as the light slowly fades back to black to start over again. The second cycle of light reveals more ambience, we see that he is in a locker room. Barely lit are the other boxers he has to share the locker room with. They are shapes only and with the pulse of light they eventually disappear. The sound of their bouts seeps in counterpoint to the breathing. When MEAT is finally alone in the locker room, he cautionly looks around and is relieved. Now with no one watching he feels free to move, twisting his neck trying to get those cords of neck muscle to align, to obey. His arms slowly stretch up and then out. He spins around and we see more bruises down his chest and abdomen.

Do I respect rhetorical questions?

Hmmm? Should I answer that?

I believe that many people hide behind rhetoric. A little bit of Rhetoric can enable motion, but if unchecked it can be misperceived as motion itself.

I have this image in my head of men sitting in a dark room with no windows peering together at a map of a country they've never seen, arguing over which route is the best one to take.

I believe that many people critize rather than create.

Why is that I so distrust this idea of being a "friend" or a "physician" to the audience? It's not rhetorical, but I don't have an answer yet.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Ideas

We could start with shortening the form. While at the same time expanding the conversation

Take a play and condense it into 15 minutes.

Then have some one else you know do the same.

Then show both pieces. Compare.

Ecosystems

Regarding Don's post today, If we think of theatrical venues as ecosystems, changing the paradigm or expanding the ecosystem paradigm beyond the current storyfront venue could be the necessary trnasformation to enable theatre and audiences to better interact?

If the empty space you covet is so cost prohibitive that you can not generate the kind of product you feel is necessary...then find another empty space.

Challenges to overcome, to negoiatate...

I would hope that we wouldn't ignor the form of our empty space.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Innovation

In our Post Modern world, is innovation even possible?

Is there any possiblity of an avant-garde in it's denotative sense as the forward guard?

Can art be a womb? Or have the million monkeys at a million typewriters finished it off? Is imagination nothing more than a baking sift?

A lot of big words are getting thrown around

Narrative - It isn't going away. The best you can do is hope for non-linear narratives. And realize that the moment they leave the theatre, 95% of your audience will juggle around the episodic images they are able to recall into some sort of linear narrative. Narrative and interpretation are inseparable when it comes to storytelling.

I can't remember the article I read by him, but even Foreman has admitted this, that he need not put or even conceive of any narrative, the audience will do it eventually.

The linearity of the episodes you present can be altered, jumbled, rearranged so as to aid in an attempted ambiguity in your storytelling. But, the audience will rearrange it later after the show to suit them.

One reason why theatre hasn't "evolved" in this country is due to the effects of democracy on our culture and market. WE deserve the president that we get. Not as individuals but as a society. And as a Democracy majority rules via the polls and via the pocketbooks. Result, innovations in expression that the majority find too difficult, too distasteful, too challenging, too frightening...are eventually relegated to the fringe by the members of the democracy.

Boring Bad Theatre? Well, I'm afraid that's democracy at work.


Nobody ever posts comments to my blog. Why?

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Name Yer Poison

Soon there'll be
"Coin Purse Theatre" or
"Invertabrate Theatre" or
"Squatter's Theatre" or
"No-Frills Theatre" or
"Brown Paper Bag Theatre" or
"Table Scraps Theatre" or
"Before the Street Sweepers get here Theatre" or
"I sold my plasma for rehearsal space Theatre"

So, let me just say...

I've been really enjoying some of my new blog buddies. Scott Walters, Matt Freeman, and a few others. I'm mainly emphasizing them because well, we've be emailing or posting back and forth and I'm feeling the "like".

Matt is talking about "indie" theatre. Whereas I like his intent, I'm hoping I can convince at least him that "indie" is a bad brand for any sort of theatre because it doesn't communicate enough about the theatre to those whom you want to know the brand.

Scott's got a bunch of us chiming in and ran a little color commentary on Don and Me rattling our sabres at each other, before smoking a cigar together in virtual space.

Sometime soon when I get the courage I'll put these dudes in my links. Soon.

Loving it.

I'm hoping to find some time to sit down and start up my playwighting again. I'm all moved in and I got my new job. Time to start the boxing play back up.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Audience again.

So, I had two people tell me that they aren't just talking about more audience, but their relationship to audience.

So Long as we are talking about our relationship to the people who are actually in the seats, I think that is fine.

But, I think we could do well to admit that often conversations about audience devolve into as Scott Walter's puts it... "rather hackneyed ideas and complaints".

So lets make some real change. New ideas, new modes.
Don started something good today about the actual art.

If we are talking about ACCESS as he puts it, good! Even audience development is good, but Audience Building...ack!!!!! Again, I say that the Americans who want to go the theatre are already there.

I want to be a storyteller first. Arts Admin second. I'm interested in talking about the audience relationship only if it leads to the first. To be blunt, I've had too much of the second. I've had the conversation and I've been to the arts retreats than deal with the second to the exclusion of the first.

We can have space for COMMERCE on the blogsphere, but please not the the exclusion of how we tell stories and what stories we tell.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Who is our audience?

I've been reading a bit of the posts that like off of Don Hall's website regarding Theatre's relevancy and who the audience is.

There have been a ton of links and a bunch of people conversing back and forth about it.

I'm feeling frustrated about what I've read.

On the one hand, it is exciting to see so many people online who want to discuss the ins and outs of theatre. See everybody linking to everybody else's' blogs makes one feel the potentiality of an online community of artists.

But, I find it frustrating what everybody is talking about. There has been so much talk about why...why...why do we do what we do it the audience isn't as big as we wish, or why do we do it if it doesn't put food on the table or pay for itself. Honestly, It all makes me yawn. I read as much of it as I could. Ever since I had to leave college behind for the "real world" I've been hearing these sorts of conversations which end up sounding like self therapy. It always breaks down into the following paradigms

1) No one likes what I do, why?
2) No one likes what I do, fuck em!
3) What do people like? Do I want to change to please them?

Paragraph upon paragraph is written delving into one of these tangents. It all feels very cathartic, but it ends up being nothing more than the sound a tree makes in the forest if no one is there to hear it.

I'd like to see more verbs. More manifestos. More talking about what kind of art you like and less talk about who may or may not come to see it.

We all want a greater degree of appreciation. That's a given. Now, tell me what it is that you do, not what you want from your audience!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

I'm back

Well, I just started my job at JMJ tech today and I think it is going to be a great job. I get to travel all over the country and teach people how to use software.

A software trainer.

I'm damn happy about that!