Best of This Week's Theatre Blogs - 20 Nov 2009Date: 20 November 2009
Would you go to the theatre alone? This week Jake at A Younger Theatre embarked on a challenge of seeing seven shows in seven days - and every single one of them on his own. During the process Jake reassessed his own theatre-going habits and considered why, even when sitting silently in the dark, theatre may still be a social activity.
It was judging what happens onstage that preoccupied Parabasis as he continued his discussions on criticism, this time questioning whether we have the vocabulary to judge the contributions of a director.
For Angry White Guy in Chicago it was a typically spirited argument for the need for balance in theatre which dominated, with Don Hall suggesting that a "dark chocolate" approach to creating productions might be the way forward.
But before any script reaches a director, or an auditorium or an audience, it has to be written, and this week there were also insights into some of the more problematic aspects of writing. Easily Distracted Writer reflected on the perils of letting people read a precious first draft whilst Kenneth Emson, taking part in Nabokov's Present: Tense, smoked a lot of cigarettes and had to write a script (for nine actors no less) in less than a week.
"I know I’ve often looked at the lone person in a row and pitied them for a moment. But why? Theatre isn’t exactly a social event other than the fact that people meet on mass to watch something, and then disappear again after the spectacle."
"Every other part of the production produces something tangible except for the direction, and yet the direction is the key lynchpin that (hopefully, when done right) holds the production together."
"If Shrek is your idea of Great Theater, then the idea of sitting in a storefront black box watching the theater equivalent of three twenty-two year olds playing out an adaptation of The Deaths in Somalia as Seen by the Rocks of the Land by Way of Sock Puppets is a bit like waterboarding."
"I don't know why I said the last one. Clearly it's not real. Who would give you this kind of advice? Unless, perhaps you were writing a script about the early life of Margret Thatcher and thought it would be thrilling to set it on Mars in a brave stab at a kind of counter-historical/fantasy genre."
Nabokov Blog, Kenneth Emson - Thursday Morning
"It's been really interesting trying to write for this piece knowing that Robin will be incorporating movement (and not just in the walk stage left sense) to the story. I ended up leaving the text unallocated..."