Theater: Standing Outside
Let me start with two things:
I have immense respect for the work that has been done on The Book Club Play. Actors, designers, playwright, stage manager, director (and many others who very often go unnoticed) ‘made funny’ after all. And they must be very proud of the work they have done. And I had the pleasure of watching.
My blogs have not been reposted by Geva. And, in fact, at this point I have stopped posting them to the Cohort page as well. In that forum they do not seem to be appreciated by many. My blogs talk about a layer beneath this exceptional work – like earning Ethos (e.g. credibility) through connection, paying attention to the lifeblood of this art which is humanity itself and inviting it to have an opinion, removing the tourniquet to allow ideas to flow freely between community and theater, being curious and open to thoughts – both positive and constructive.
GEVA: Thanks, Frank!
I planned to blog about Tech today but I can’t. I was standing outside ringing the bell. And, when nobody answered, I finally gave up.
First, please notice that my blog title does not start with the word ‘GEVA’ as all of the others have. I want to be clear that this is not ‘Geva-specific.’ It’s far more systemic.
One of my biggest concerns for theater based upon my personal experience with the theater community in New York City (and now Rochester as well) is that it tends to be very exclusive. And, because of this, limits both its’ own growth as well as the community’s exposure to this important experience. It is because I have an immense amount of respect and appreciation for this particular art that I want to find the tourniquet, remove it and allow a healthy relationship to flourish between the two.
GEVA: Making the Clay
I haven’t been able to make it to a Geva rehearsal in a few days now. But, I’m so glad to get the stage manager’s notes so that at least I have a feel for what is going on in the room. I have decided that I chose the wrong career. Case in point:
Line from my first email of the day: “Urgent! Please review the refreshed version of the (blah, blah, blah) datasheet for business approval and provide background and justification.”
Line about the characters from the stage manager’s rehearsal notes: “We’re definitely consuming a lot of wine. Do we think these people always drink something white?”
GEVA: The Ever-Elusive Ethos
In writing class this week my instructor was talking about a Memoir entitled “Name All the Animals” by Alison Smith. Just as I do when I write, this particular author journaled furiously for hundreds or thousands of pages just to get her thoughts out there. In other words, she was ‘making the clay’. It certainly wasn’t the book that it would become. But now she had material to work with that she could mould into that book. What I witnessed today at Geva Theater’s rehearsal for The Book Club Play was not so different than this.
Back during my days at Colgate University, I could wax Aristotle for hours. Instead, I just want to crawl into bed after a long week. So I’ll be brief about my blog on Ethos and the limits this imposes on the success of theater.
Aristotle’s Rhetoric dealt with the idea of persuasion in three elements: