Friday, October 5, 2012

Ionesco Interview in The Paris Review

An intersting and informative Ionesco interview in The Paris Review brings me even more excitement about seeing RHINOCEROS at BAM tonight.

"All right then, you can have your Baudelaire. In the theater, the same thing happened with us—Beckett, Adamov, and myself. We were not far from Sartre and Camus—the Sartre of La Nausée, the Camus of L’Etranger—but they were thinkers who demonstrated their ideas, whereas with us, especially Beckett, death becomes a living evidence, like Giacometti, whose sculptures are walking skeletons. Beckett shows death; his people are in dustbins or waiting for God. (Beckett will be cross with me for mentioning God, but never mind.) Similarly, in my play The New Tenant, there is no speech, or rather, the speeches are given to the Janitor. The Tenant just suffocates beneath proliferating furniture and objects—which is a symbol of death. There were no longer words being spoken, but images being visualized. We achieved it above all by the dislocation of language. Do you remember the monologue in Waiting for Godot and the dialogue in The Bald Soprano? Beckett destroys language with silence. I do it with too much language, with characters talking at random, and by inventing words." -Ionesco

...expect something in return.

Government has their nasty, shiny boot pressed down on our faces; they expect a lot from us and are not very understanding. Why should we not ask, demand, or expect them to look out for us in order to survive. We live under their rule, so we should expect something in return.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Let the artist explore and grow!

For some time now, there has been a lot of talk about playwrights getting caught in development hell. There's something to be said for revision, and I respect that aspect of the writing process. I revise. And I do believe in play development. But if theatre companies and producers are striving for complete perfection (who should judge what is considered perfect?), great voices will not have a chance to be heard and evolve.

Maybe complete perfection in art is not always the way to go. Perhaps, there's something to be said for flawed art and creations as long as it offers a unique perspective on the human condition and provides the audience with something that they are seeking. If the voice satisfies them, isn't that enough?

Who really has the experience and power to know when art is ready for presentation? Who has the right to be hyper-critical and judgemental when an artist exposes their soul? For that matter, who has the right to judge what art is right or correct? What each person likes when it comes to art is a matter of taste.

Is it so wrong to give the artist and audience an opportunity to learn, experience, and grow together without getting in their way? Let the artist and audience develop together. Give an artist the opportunity to grow and develop in front of people. Give the artist a chance to learn what works and doesn't work and apply those lessons to the next piece of art. But times have changed; it's not like that anymore. The buck has become more important than the true development of an artist.

Let it live! Let the art live! Let the artist explore and grow! And let the people decide how they feel about the person and product.

Can we be willing to overlook a couple of flaws, expectations, and inspections? Not everybody is a critic; most everybody is a human being. We, as human beings, produce art and connect with art to become better human being and gain perspective and enjoy. What really matters is that everybody involved goes on a journey and gets something out of it. Right?

...plays that reflect the experiences of a lot of people in this country.

"...I write American plays that reflect the experiences of a lot of people in this country. Or rather, I just write human dramas (usually in a comedic manner) that I hope most people can relate to."

-Yussef El Guindi

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

I work on the edge of disaster...

"I work on the edge of disaster a lot, and eventually it turns. It's nerve-wracking because you don't know when that'll happen,"

-Donyale Werle

...transform people's lives.

" can and should transform people's lives."

The Cleveland Connection
September 2012

...I speak to individuals, not crowds.

"I prefer the smaller venues. I speak to individuals, not crowds."

-Athol Fugard

...he fantasized about writing, directing, and designing his own plays, but he "let go of that impulse,...

"Kushner agrees: "I worry about the weakening of my concentration on the tasks of the playwright," he reasons. There is, he confesses, also a pragmatic reason behind this separation of powers. "With the first production of ANGELS IN AMERICA, I surprised myself at how little help I could actually be." In his early days he fantasized about writing, directing and designing his own plays, but he "let go of that impulse, especially as I came to understand that what scenic designers do is really much more difficult than what I naively thought.""

The Scenic Route
by Stuart Miller
July/August 2012

...what theatre could be, and say, and do.

"O'Neill heard particular sounds in his head...both O'Neill and Shakespeare had really gargantuan notions of what theatre could be, and say, and do. The variety of ideas, their richness, the size of their really have to go up the mountain with these guys. And they're always ahead of you. You can't try to reduce them to your level. O'Neill is a genius, no question in my mind. It's really something to get up in the morning and work with a genius."

July/August 2012

Monday, October 1, 2012