Monday, July 30, 2007

Response to Jay, and more questions to him and others you wish to share...

Tony's original post

Where did you first find your faith? The faith that great new plays were possible?

And have you moved from that point? To me this idea of faith and theater is a key to how I became addicted to this medium. Somewhere I had one or 2 or three experiences of literal ecstasy in the theatre as a teller of tales or a spectator that gave me a sort of faith that some sort of salvation or redemption (even in a momentary metaphorical sense) was possible through theatre.

So what are the answers to those 2 questions? I would encourage you dear reader(and I will try myself) to be as specific as possible, not about the kind of play you want to read, but what moment or play put you in the place wear your faith began. (A near future post probably)

I think I agree with most of your points about the tedium that is modern scripts. Not enough risk, imagination, mythic stature, etc.

The only reason I started writing plays is because I wanted to see different sorts of stories on stage. Stories that were too rarely told for my taste. If there were more playwrights writing the sort of stories I wanted to see, then I probably never would have taken the leap from directing to playwrighting so many years ago.

I might willingly share a script or two that I have written with Tony or with anyone, but often I hesitate for a number of reasons...

I primarily direct my own stuff. Why? Because the same frustrations that Tony communicated about the text...I have felt those same frustrations when it comes to the majority of directors and companies out there.

So, I'm not in habit of submitting my work to other theatre companies. I am in the habit of sharing my work with other theatre artists...I guess in the fleeting hope or faith that I'll finally run into like minded individuals whose level of taste matches their artistic creativity, that their raw talent is matched by a selflessness towards the story.

The same way in which you want to find that faith restored by a script, I want to find that faith restored by a producing organization that has a vision for new work other than simply picking ripe fruit that has fallen off the tree into their lap, the producing organization or theatre company that has few if any prima donnas, yadda yadda yadda yadda...(I don't know anything about Halycon except what I can see on the site, so please note this isn't criticism directed specifically at Tony or his company)

Perhaps the only comfort you can take until that faith restoring script comes your way is that...IT IS OUT THERE. There is a needle in the haystack, and there is also a camel small enough to walk through the eye of it. But just like books, movies, bands, there is a ton a ton a ton of crap out there and it's mere existence is enough to make it an obstacle to your goal.

I remember living in Florida as a college student, and not being able to wait until I got to NYC where all the work was going to be great, the land of oz...then I got there and after seeing about 100 shows realized that 90 of them sucked, and only 1 or 2 out the remaining ten filled me with a beacon of light and faith.

Anyway, if you Tony, or dear reader want to read something I'd be glad to share it with you. If you want to talk shop or commiserate that's fine too (but lets do it over a beer or a cup of coffee)

1 comment:

Tony said...

To be honest I don't know exactly when I first found it. I think two shows did it in stages. It started when I saw Book of Days in it's original run. It was kicked into over drive when I saw Tambours Sur La Digue. Two imperfect, completely different, exceptional shows.

Have I moved from that? I don't know. It is kind of like a heroin junkie type of thing. Like you say, I became addicted, and I look to have that experience again.

And I agree about the role that companies play in this as well, but that rant was already approaching old testament length, so I tried to stay brief-ish.

ps. glad to hear you're putting the band back together. Me and the wife were wondering what happened to the mammals