Tuesday, January 17, 2012

So Many Questions

There is never a lack of questions to ask about theater. Among the ones I’ve heard pondered over the past couple of days:

Is it OK to leave a show after intermission? (Aside: I heard that one popular Richmond holiday-time production had many intermission defections.)

Why don’t public intellectuals weigh in on theater these days? (Auxiliary question: are there even any public intellectuals anymore?)

Forget about cell phones, is it OK to eat distracting food like popcorn in a theater?
(OK, I can’t really forget about cell phones: here’s a short compilation of infamous cell phone interruptions.)

Should future arts buildings be engineered differently?

Does video work on stage?

Of course, my reading has prompted some questions of my own:

Did Seattle critics take their inspiration from Richmond in creating a theater critics’ circle? They certainly did a better job in taking the bull by the horns by naming the awards themselves instead of allowing an insidious alternative name take hold…

Why don’t more companies produce this show? With the right person, I expect it could be endlessly fascinating.

Can a graphic novel really be effectively staged?

Would someone (hm, like maybe Style?) do a graphic like this one about Richmond-area theaters?

Finally, if you’d like to offer your own answers to the question: “Is plot or language the soul of Shakespeare?” you may want to check out the planned online conversation between Howard Sherman and Peter Marks. I don’t expect definitive answers but I expect the conversation will be fascinating.


Anonymous said...

I have a question... why do most of the companies producing shows under the Act of Faith festival have literally nothing to do with faith or spirituality? God of Carnage, August? What??

philcrosby said...

So many questions ... so many links!

How can a show be "popular" and have people leaving at intermission? Was the marketing campaign that good?

debra wagoner said...

I have lots of questions too. I thought the other day...my cell phone has really saved my bacon a few times. Car trouble. Or when my parents really needed urgent help and couldn't find me otherwise. But, I also thought about how many times, say, cell phones have hurt people. From the extreme of texting and driving and causing terrible accidents. To the taking the pic of fat guy/girl at the gym huffing and puffing on the stair master and having it go viral. And yes, the ringing, tweeting, beepin phone in the the theatre. Not that manners matter, or are a valid concern. For a minute or two I hated my phone so much I would have smashed the thing. But what if my mother needed me? *sigh It seems like every great thing we come up with--even this laptop I'm using now--we find a way to corrupt it, and make it ugly. Or rather use it not for the betterment of the world but for tearing it down just a little bit more. Cynical? No. Very very sad. It's all about 4G, 3D, faster, better, RIGHT NOW. The Kander &Ebb lyric: the trouble with the world today,it's plain to see, is everything is: hurry up. The person in front of you behind you, beside you doesn't matter, exist even. They are the hindrance on your journey from point A to B. What does this have to do with art? Or theatre? Maybe nothing. Maybe everything.