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Showing posts from May 28, 2006

Help with Film Clip

I conjure the power of the theatre blogosphere! O! Great Spirit! I seek advice. I am in search of a film in which somebody essentially picks somebody up, turns them upside down, and shakes all the stuff out of their pockets. Can you help me?

"Stones in His Pockets"

The Stoneleaf Theatre Festival has been happening in Asheville for the past week. I've been doing some house managing for the shows that are taking place in my department's space. Last night, I saw a wonderful production of Stones in His Pockets done by North Carolina Stage Company. The performances were flawless -- two actors (Charlie McIver and Scott Treadway) playing about twenty different roles, each clearly and vividly.

I can't decide how I feel about one-person shows, or even shows like this where two actors play many roles. One part of me thinks that it increases the theatricality and encourages the audience to actively engage its imagination; the other part frets about the miniaturization of the theatre and the slide toward what Aristotle called epic.

Uncharacteristically, I don't have a strong opinion on this issue. Something I continue to struggle with.

Changing the World

"You write in order to change the world, knowing perfectly well that you probably can't, but also knowing that literature is indispensable to the world. ... The world changes according to the way people see it, and if you alter, even by a millimeter, the way people look at reality, then you can change it."
--- James Baldwin

Lucas on Brook's "Deadly Theatre"

Lucas Krech over at Light Que 23 is examining Peter Brook's amazing book The Empty Space. His post on "The Death of the Deadly Theatre" asks us to see Deadly Theatre not as a place, a proper noun, but a verb, a gerund, something that happensand can happen anywhere. While reading a blog on technology in education immediately following having read Lucas' post, I came across a post that quoted the lyrics of a Randy Newman song that seemed so relevant to what I had just read. The song is called "I'm Dead," and it goes:

I have nothing left to say
But I’m going to say it anyway
Thirty years upon a stage
And now I hear the people say
Why won’t he go away?I pass the houses of the dead
They’re calling me to join their group
But I stagger on instead
Dear God, Sweet God
Protect me from the truthCHORUSI’m dead but I don’t know it
(He’s dead He’s dead)
I’m dead but I don’t know
(He’s dead He’s dead)
I’m dead but I don’t know it
(He’s dead He’s dead)
Please don’t tell me so
Let me…

Coloring Outside the Lines

From Jordan Ayan's book on creativity, Aha!, quoted by Tom Peters in Re-Imagine!:

"My wife and I went to a [kindergarten parent-teacher conference], and we were informed that our budding refrigerator artist [Christopher] would be receiving a grade of 'Unsatisfactory' in art. We were shocked. How could any child -- let alone our child -- receive a poor grade in art at such a young age? His teacher informed us that

he had refused to color within the lines...

which was a state requirement for demonstrating grade-level motor skills."

Another quotation, this time from Gordon MacKenzie's Orbiting the Giant Hairball: A Corporate Fool's Guide to Surviving with Grace (and also quoted in Re-Imagine!):

"Following his 'retirement,' Gordon devoted a lot of time to the school system, coaching and commenting. He recalled a typical visit to an American elementary school at the turn of the century/millenium:
'How many artists are there in the room? Would yo…

Pursue Failure (Damn It!)

Andrew Eglington, over at Desperate Curiosity, achieves a fascinating insight concerning his photographs that he calls "Vain Pursuits of Perfection." He writes:
I have uploaded around 150 photos to flickr over the past year, I even joined some of the photo pools, encountered the work of others, made some contacts, had my pictures rated and commented on, but it’s only now that I realise what has been troubling me about all this: the collective striving for perfection in the image. Good composition, balanced light, the right subject matter, in focus/out of focus, good depth of field/ miscalculated angles, erasing the elements that jar, the obstructions to beauty, hindrances to perfection, these pursuits are the mark of the amateur photographer. These pursuits mark my photos. I am an amateur photographer because I dare not depart from these rules lest my work be deemed unconvincing. I do not have the photographic conviction to present a medicore photo as a work of art.
What a gr…