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Category: Audience

Homer’s Butoh-fu Prologue

Homer’s Butoh-fu Prologue

I am the story itself Exhausted flesh Hung on this walking wandering bone I recite now not To you in the presence of my voice The fourth wall is there Just behind you the generations just beyond you yet to be The true audience watches us gather For the story of this flesh Blind to its fate Blind to its origin Yet the grape seeks to know its vine As the vine seeks to know its wine Flesh most divine…

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Community

Community

One’s-Self I Sing One’s-self I sing, a simple separate person, Yet utter the word Democratic, the word En-Masse. Of physiology from top to toe I sing, Not physiognomy alone nor brain alone is worthy for the Muse, I say the Form complete is worthier far, The Female equally with the Male I sing. Of Life immense in passion, pulse, and power, Cheerful, for freest action form’d under the laws divine, The Modern Man I sing. Behavior lawless as snow-flakes, words…

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Can I Get a Witness

Can I Get a Witness

Matt Freeman keeps needing to rephrase his question in his comment section. Allow me: As long as the arrow hits its target, does the archer even matter? In Butoh the performer follows an internal narrative unconcerned with the external expression of such. In the rigorous pursuit of that narrative often an undeniable transformation of reality occurs. Arbitrary, yet endowed with purpose, this “creative accident” is a somewhat miraculous event. Although the alchemist is attempting a psychic/spiritual transformation, it is not…

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Promote-O-Meter

Promote-O-Meter

In the comment section at Playgoer’s last year, when the Critic-O-Meter blog was first launched, I argued against the denigration of theatre criticism into a report card grading system. Most artists I know struggle against the standardized behavior and herding aspect implicit in the notion of “theatre consumer,” so this wannabe Rotten Tomatoes of the theatre world fell off my radar until recently when Isaac Butler’s heavy promotion of his current show caught my attention. The goofily named Critic-O-Meter wants…

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The Rant, the Whine, and the Pitch

The Rant, the Whine, and the Pitch

What the rant and the whine have in common is their self-righteous attitude. Exhibit A: Rat Sass. This attitude allows the speaker to pose as victim to something supposedly out of his/her control. Sometimes this mind-set is attained through self-deceit, other times through deliberate hypocrisy or bravura, but usually elements of all are necessary to achieve such a judgmental stance. Of course in order for the rant or whine to find popular acclaim, the content of the message also has…

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The Heart of Failure and Promise

The Heart of Failure and Promise

OUR FAILURE Theatre has become as stale as our language, our lives. We use the word “seasons” in theater in the same fashion we use the word holiday as replacement for Holy Day. Christmas is now the Xmas season. We acquiesce unknowingly. X-ing out the abstinent Christ with the Santa bag of toys. That merry, merry tidings-of-comfort-and-joy time that produces more suicides than any other. Once was the earlier pagan ritual celebrating the winter solstice. Theatre was born within such…

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The Preview Review & Reviewing the Reviewers: A Review

The Preview Review & Reviewing the Reviewers: A Review

Playwright Adam Szymkowicz was a blogger guest of Primary Stages’ preview of Hunting and Gathering and he seems to have written a preview review. Anyway it walks somewhat like a review and quacks somewhat like a review but I think we will all need to await the Back Stage National Theatre Editor’s ruling on the exact nature of this duck. Leonard Jacobs promised to bring the issue before the Supreme Court when George Hunka transgressed on 100 Saints in his…

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Local Girl’s Tumultuous Rise and Fall from Fame

Local Girl’s Tumultuous Rise and Fall from Fame

Dear Local Girl, We are all deeply saddened here in Brooklyn by your recent tragic fall from fame. Upon receipt of this momentous news the Rat Sass executive committee convened in special session over the holidays.  In a decisive and unanimous action the committee has awarded you the coveted Walk of Fame Star. Rat Sass Walk of Fame Stars are real duplicates of the replicas made by the same artist who creates the Hollywood plaques given to the celebrities when they…

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Giant Rat! I’d buy that for a dollar!

Giant Rat! I’d buy that for a dollar!

Photo by Joe Nickell author of Sideshow! Bobby Reynolds’s spiel outside the Giant Rat tent set up at Coney Island was pure hype. “Gigantic rat! Humongous rat! One hundred pound rat! Straight from the jungles of Vietnam and Cambodia! More feared than a sniper’s bullet!” After paying the dollar admission and entering the tent, instead of confronting the fearful beast described in Bobby’s shtick, the audience was presented with a very non-rat-like creature, peacefully munching on a bale of hay….

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WordPlays:365 Days/365 Ways to No Box Office

WordPlays:365 Days/365 Ways to No Box Office

The NO BOX OFFICE is the most radical notion in the 365 Days/365 Plays project. In NYC and LA, Actors Equity allows token payments to actors in showcase and 99 seat production contracts. So actors can work in similar spirit to the dollar a day token royalty the playwright receives. I’m interested in how theaters are paying Equity actors working elsewhere in the country on this project. I expect circumvention. Likewise on the NO BOX OFFICE restriction. The Foundry Theatre…

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Cap’n Beady Eyes in the Blogosphere

Cap’n Beady Eyes in the Blogosphere

The patronizing advice that Lyn Gardner dispenses to young theatre companies in her Guardian post could be better applied as a directive to her own writing. She needs to “think harder and be more self-critical” about her writing as it moves from print into the blogosphere. Apparently oblivious even of the venue in which she is writing, she totes out that old print publishing truism that “reviewing space comes at a premium” when cautioning young theatre companies from inviting her…

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In Perpetuity

In Perpetuity

The Great Law of Peace was the constitution that united the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy. This confederacy and its laws is said to have inspired Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Paine in the writing of the United States Constitution. One of the precepts of the Great Law of Peace was referred to as the Seventh Generation. This principle instructs chiefs to consider the impact of their decisions on the seventh generation to come. Theatre is an art form that…

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Rain Dog Dance

Rain Dog Dance

Much of Artaud’s theory on theatre can be classified as the dramaturgy of the actor. It’s easy to see why Butoh originator Hijikata found a shared sensibility and stratagem for performance in Artaud’s writings. One of his prized possessions was the recorded copy of Artaud’s radio broadcast. This tape of To Have Done With The Judgement Of God was played when Hijikata choreographed Min Tanaka in a performance entitled Ren-ai Butoh-ha Teiso (Foundation of the Dance of Love). To work…

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Open Letters to Purple Haze

Open Letters to Purple Haze

McSweeney’s has more than a hundred entries at its fiction section titled OPEN LETTERS TO PEOPLE OR ENTITIES UNLIKELY TO RESPOND The writer of the open letter to Vice President Cheney first offers condolences for the loss of Scooter Libby, then applies for the open Chief of Staff job. The applicant begins his list of qualifications with 1. I am pure evil. I can provide letters of reference from former girlfriends, as well as from my previous landlord, to attest…

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