Sunday, January 31, 2010

Life Upon The Wicked Stage

After some discussion with the publisher, I submitted an article to the Theatre Vault website. If it is received well (or at all), it will likely be the first of several by various contributors. I've included it here because (1. I liked it), and (2. There's some truth in there.) If you have any thoughts in these directions, lemme know. I can always go for Part 2 ...

Many good things happened in Columbus community theatre in 2009. There is a breathtaking amount of talent out there. Often the only differences between professional and non-professional theatre are those nuances we tend to rationalize as “that’s just the way it is.”

Sorry, I don’t buy that. “Just the way it is” is an excuse for lack of imagination in one area or another. And so, with the thought of building up rather than tearing down, we point out some of the consistent problems community theatres choose not to address whenever possible.

In other words, here’s our first “this sucks” community theatre experiences for 2009.

I saw three musicals this year. In two of them I watched people lacking in muscle tone and rhythm while they stomped around a stage in an homage to the Frankenstein monster. Sorry, that’s not dancing. Embarrassing is what it is, and one of the reasons many people label community theatre as “amateur.”

Along the same line, dressing fat people in tight clothes does not make them look like dancers - it makes them look like fat people dressed in tight clothes.

The majority of shows I saw incorporated set changes that were more involved than the show they bridged. Please don’t do that. It takes time and nobody really cares.

I saw four plays this year that were written between a hundred and four hundred years ago. I suffered through a number of performers who had no idea what the meanings were behind the words they were speaking. Theatre managers, if you have any mercy for your audiences at all, give these people chloroform just before they perform. Better still, give it to us.

I saw one play this year where an episode of a television show had been performed as a stage play. The original script writers are now deceased. Rightly so.

I observed one community theatre that flatly turned down free publicity in the form of play reviews. This is sad on so many levels.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Yes, Julie

I could be quite happy here.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Has It Been A Year Already?

Guess so ...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Flaw In Paganism

Drink and dance and laugh and lie,
Love, the reeling midnight through,
For tomorrow we shall die!
(But, alas, we never do.)

Dorothy Parker

Monday, January 18, 2010

I Once Thought They Be Not Stars

I once thought they be not stars, but mirrors of my soul
– those myriad twinklings set apart, aloof.

How alike we are, I thought,
to watch as bourgeois’ kingdoms rise, gasp for life,
and fall.

To remain pure, chaste – unreached and unreachable
– thereby avoiding the countenance of that soiled creature, God
– in His perfect wisdom – permitted to begrime the earth.

To live forever! To never age or …
or if to die, to die purposed,
a bright burning gash across the heavens.

I thought them supreme! Omnipotent! One with the creator!

But with the coming of the simple morn, they depart, those stars.
Frightened, no, offended by the belligerence of the sun.

I remain. I.

Take me with you! Leave me not to face the iniquities of this little life
– which draw me away, which make me less like you.

They do not hear me. Or, if hearing, disdainfully ignore my supplication.
And in my heart, that secret place where truth be not denied, I am pleased – grateful!

For if in compassion they respond, then they be more like me
than I would be like them.

And so, for a space I forgot them, moved as I was toward consuming sorrow,
the pain within all too jealous for attention.

And now … now I think again we are alike, those stars and I.
Distant. Untouched. Unknowing.
Affecting not the nature of any living thing, save as a curiosity.

Existing for the mere sake of … existing.

Jack Bunny

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on that sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Dylan Thomas

Saturday, January 16, 2010


There's little in taking or giving,
There's little in water or wine;
This living, this living, this living
Was never a project of mine.
Oh, hard is the struggle, and sparse is
The gain of the one at the top,
For art is a form of catharsis,
And love is a permanent flop,
And work is the province of cattle,
And rest's for a clam in a shell,
So I'm thinking of throwing the battle-
Would you kindly direct me to hell?

Dorothy Parker