Wednesday, March 19, 2008

More on the Value of theater

Also read

Re: Content and Media

Please consider the difference between...

1) Thumbing Maxim magazine or going to an evening of classy burlesque

2) Reading Guns and Ammo magazine or attending an actual gun show

3) Seeing Big Bird on PBS or going to Sesame Street on Ice

4) Watching Hannah Montana on TV or seeing her at the Allstate Arena

5) Watching Rachel Ray's Tasty Trips or actually going somewhere for a 3 day weekend


Scott Walters said...

Yeah -- I was thinking about discussing the difference between watching a porn DVD and going to a strip club, but I decided against it...

Ian Mackenzie said...

Hi there,

Interesting comparisons – but I'm not sure I see where you're going with this.

There is arguable value in each one of these activities . . .

Am I missing the context, or just being dense?


Anonymous said...


I think you are being dense. Each of the examples above is a prime metaphor for the difference between non theater and theater.

They are immediate, they might to some border on the vulgar...and they are meant to show us that when we talk about who is valuing theatre we need to open up our own prejudices about what is performative, about what sort of live events constitute an evening of theater.

This talk of valuing theatre needs to get past a place where we all hold something abstract to be precious.

Theatre and its value must move beyond the museum affinity.


I can't be certain, but I take your comment to be glib...and my only reposne is that theatre mus also move beyond the university/campus affinities as well.

If theatre had more in common with a gun show, with a burlesque act...we'd be in better place.

It isn't abot the lowest common is about immediacy, it is about anything but bore me, anything but bore the audience, and even our conversations about value are in danger of being boring!!!

I value theatre that is dangerous. I say burn down the museum.

Devilvet said...

above post is me, devilvet

Ian Mackenzie said...

Ouch, thanks for the slag!

Anyway, so you're saying that going to an evening of burlesque; attending a gun show; going to Sesame Street on Ice; seeing Hannah Montana at the Allstate Arena; and going somewhere for a three-day weekend – are all performative events and we shouldn't forget them when we talk about theatre and its relationship to value.

Works for me. Good point.