Okay, so I haven’t been posting. I could tell you that I’ve been busy reading a novel or two and a few plays, fighting various bureaucracies, being berated by strangers, getting drastic haircuts and smashing my head on river rocks. That’s all true but it’s not an excuse. The point of this blog was to post every week day and I’ve failed to do this. So: mea culpa, I’ll try to be better. The past two weeks have been incredibly weird but we’re looking forward and getting back theatre and self discipline... and to being a good blogger.
Today I read about half of Play: a Journal of Plays, Volume 3. It’s a very modern collection of (you guessed it) plays that was edited by two of my former teachers (Jordan Harrison and Sally Oswald) I really liked the first play, The Lincolnshire Poacher by David Bost: it was short, it had characters, it had a really interesting premise and real emotional weight. Also, all the dialogue was written in an invented short wave radio code. Very cool, very me, it was my kind of construction, my kind of resolution... I almost felt like I could have written this play, in the best possible way.
I’ve also read most of The Always/Never Her Trilogy by Lisa D’Amour and Katie Pearl, and I don’t like it nearly as much. What I will say is that these are less plays than assembly instructions for a theatrical experience and that’s totally valid but a lot less suited for the page. There are directions and dialogue like in any play but these are deconstructed, site specific pieces with built in gaps for a performer or director’s self expression. What i struggle with in this piece and pieces like it is the problem of emotional disconnect, they feature strange stories (told rather than directly dramatized) but the persistent visual weirdness and the speakers’ detachment distance the audience from the emotions of these stories. to be fair i have a feeling that the inherent coldness of stage directions was the real problem and in performance i might like these plays a lot. There really is nothing more painful than reading directions for interpretive dance... although I also kind of hate interpretive dance.
(It should be stated that this is my definition of interpretive dance: an unchoreographed, semi- or self-choreographed segment of movement, usually performed by a non-dancer, to fill in an emotional beat ill defined by text)
I also applied for a job: a costume apprenticeship at a mostly modern dress Shakespeare company that pays a stipend, I don’t know how much.