Thursday, March 20, 2008

The "Non Theater Goer" My A@@

I have heard of this thing called the "Non Theater Goer". I used to believe in this creature. But, like Ptolemy's vision of the universe, i think we are witnessing an event but not in its entirety.

I would like to propose the idea that there is no such thing as the "Non Theater Goer". Even self designated "Non Theater Goers" are mistaken about their own self diagnosis.

There are always certain types of people that don't go to your theater or to my theater...but does that mean that they don't like theater itself, or perhaps they don't like your theater or my theater...

What kind of theater do they like? Why do they like it?

I challenge you, especially if you think of these types as the lowest common denominators, to find the beauty, the redemption in the sorts of performative events that they do enjoy...the Gun Show, The Lingerie Show, The Wrestling Match, the Rodeo, the Advent play, the Shopping Mall, the children's show, the dirty puppet show, etc.etc.etc.

When we call them the "Non theater Goer", we are not only labelling them. we are labelling ourselves...we are limiting ourselves.

12 comments:

Paul said...

Who in the good goddamn came up with THAT phrase?

downtown guy said...

It's true, I don't go to much live theater, but I'll sit on my stoop and people watch all day. Then again, it's not as if I dislike stage performance - it's just not a major part of my recreation.

Don Hall said...

This is a great argument if you suppose that anything remotely theatrical is likewise theater.

I go back to the "What is Art?" discussions - if a fucking gun show can be considered "theater" then me shitting in my pants on Michigan Avenue gets to be labeled theater as well and what the fuck good is that?

Devilvet said...

Don,

I'll let you decide what is art. I'm ambilivent when it comes to making anyone 2 people agree to that.

But, to say that theater in how it is presented, formulated, and distributed has nothing to learn from say a gun show, or the rodeo, or eval keinvel? I would expect a dadaist of your caliber to more open minded than that.

if theater where a thing that the audience could holdin it hand and aim like a rifle at a gun show...if theatre gave teens the thrill of voyueristically watching people at the Mall. if theatre were more like hooking a marlin...then it would be better. If theater were like a drag race...we don;t have to compromise our message...we can play with the forms, the appraoches, we can take off our sunday's best...

I don;t for a sec believe you dont get this, don.

Paul said...

That's a "happening", yes?

Devilvet said...

Well "Happening" has a lot of artsy fartsy associations that might to many isolate it from the less high art assemblies I'm referring to. But if "happening" blows yer skirt up...you can call it that.

GreyZelda Land said...

If "happening" blows yer skirt up ... that's going down in my repertoire, Bob.

Heh heh.

RZ

Paul said...

For boys, it's a kilt, Bob.

Devilvet said...

Paul,

Only if you're scottish.

Slay said...

DV -
This simple idea is one my favorite to come out of the values discussions. It may be the most original.

While I see why we wouldn't necessarily wanna associate a gun show with our art, it seems logical that people choose their leisure events out of the same or at least similar base human needs. Certainly sports and theatre have a lot of trappings with similar aims.

Any opportunity to better understand why people make choices about how to spend their time can only help us get closer to getting our work in front of them. Right? I'm down.

On another note ...
By the way, if the word "community" is the first draft, what's the second?

Devilvet said...

Slay,

I think the second draft would be different for every theater company...

Don, said (and I half hearted agree) No one changes the world by putting on a play. Those who see the play and are moved by it, affected by it - they go out and change the world.

So maybe (I'm not sure myself) but maybe the second draft would have to be specifically tied to how you want the audience to change the world after seeing your show

Slay, let me ask you a question...
I wrote about Revalue Theatre Works hypothetical company, and their imperfect mission statements on today's post. How do those sorts of statements work or not work for folks out there who believe there is a value to the second draft?

Devilvet said...

Slay,

re: the gun show. I don't have as much of an issue with guns as some of my arty breathen. I've fired a gun and I've owned a gun. But, for me the point is imagine if you were in to guns or heck I'll even change it to a more common allusion (more common to theatrical metaphors) a cooking convention, where the audience gets watch, gets to eat, gets to hold the pots and pans and mix the batter in a bowl...

I think there are a million different things out there we haven't tried yet, regarding content, form, and specificity that other types of public assembly are running circles around us.

But, maybe that is for another entire post altogether.