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Homer’s Butoh-fu Prologue

By Nick Fracaro at 2:01 pm on Friday, December 3, 2010

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

Blind drunk in its own mystery

Its story will not die cannot die

Ripened fruit falls to ferment

On the ground beneath above

Branch same as root

Drink from this sacred place of gathering

Would you walk up close to peer

Deep into the blue sky of my eye

Would you hear this story whisper on as I die

Thank you Rainer, Fulya, and Cynthia for the expansive and enlightening discussion after the performance last night about the play, the production, and general dramaturgy of theatre.

Friends and peers, please come see George Hunka’s What She Knew and hang with us afterward if you can for discussion.  Only six performances left!

Filed under: Audience,Personal1 Comment »

Magnificent Opening Night

By Nick Fracaro at 5:28 pm on Thursday, December 2, 2010

To use the adjective of our playwright/director, our most talented actress was luminous last night.

We also received today some kind words and lurid expectations of What She Knew from the impresario extraordinaire himself, Trav S. D., in the current issue of  The Villager.

I am luridly expectant at the prospect of seeing “What She Knew” — playwright and critic George Hunka’s retelling of “Oedipus Rex” from Jocasta’s point of view. In this production, the “First of the Red Hot Mamas” will be played by Gabriele Schafer. Schafer is best known as one half of the company Thieves Theatre, which she ran for many years with her husband Nick Fracaro, and was most notorious for a theatre piece they did in the early 90s in which they lived in a teepee at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge for several months. More recently, I saw Schafer play both Hamlet’s father and mother in a Butoh-influenced version of the Shakespeare play (“Q1: The Bad Hamlet” — produced by New World Theatre). The hair-raising performances I saw makes me to think there couldn’t be a better person to do an “erotically transgressive” one-woman show about Oedipus’s mother. The production is under the rubric of Hunka’s company, Theatre Minima, and will be playing at Manhattan Theatre Source, December 1-11. For more info: www.theatreminima.org.

Filed under: News,Personal Leave A Comment »

Will I See You at the Rally Tomorrow?

By Nick Fracaro at 2:37 pm on Friday, October 29, 2010

tweet

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Community

By Nick Fracaro at 4:41 pm on Friday, February 26, 2010

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.

brklynsnow1


Behavior lawless as snow-flakes, words simple as grass, uncomb’d
head, laughter, and naivete,
Slow-stepping feet, common features, common modes and emanations

Song of Myself by Walt Whitman

Thinking about my Brooklyn neighborhood and community this morning with the most celebrated poetry collection Leaves of Grass, originally typeset and self-published in the neighborhood in 1855 by our most celebrated poet. Whenever we get buried in snow it’s as if the whole of life along with the landscape becomes somehow a timeless snapshot.

Whitman’s meditation also informs me on the recent debate on the artist’s role in community. The stark division between “I” and “We” that Scott and others would make is a false one.

This summer the street in front of our house was unofficial headquarters for the block party. The neighborhood has allowed the wacky artists to assimilate, or perhaps more true, the artists have sought out the neighborhood as the fundamental element of their art.

Every morning kids with parents in tow plan their walk to school so that they can pass the casual art installation in our front yard. Their brief discussions can be more insightful than any “critical” appraisal could ever be.

Spencer, the Horse on Straw Bale with Leaves

Spencer, the Horse on Straw Bale with Leaves

Spencer, the Horse with Discarded Umbrellas

Spencer, the Horse with Discarded Umbrellas

Spencer, the Horse

Spencer, the Horse with Yellow Page Packages

Spencer, the Horse has weathered the seasons well. Recently he was almost free of the snow pile that has had him buried for weeks. He is standing on a pile of unused plastic packaged Yellow Page directories that recently littered the neighborhoods with their useless waste. Spencer is mascot for the campaign for yellow tags on ironwork fences to stop the indiscriminate and unwanted distribution of advertising circulars.

no-menu

Spencer, the Horse in Hibernation

Spencer, the Horse in Hibernation

Filed under: Audience,Personal,Theatre and Culture2 Comments »

Daily Tweet

By Nick Fracaro at 11:12 am on Sunday, November 22, 2009

Reference Steve Gerber

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The Road West

By Nick Fracaro at 1:50 pm on Monday, October 5, 2009

After a year’s absence, I return to Rat Sass and the theatrosphere only in trepidation.  With good reason I suppose.  I have barely put my toe in the water and already Collide Flinch labels me mentally unstable.  (It’s so tempting to get into pots and kettles, tits for tats, with theatrosphere’s reigning Queen of Hysteria, but I digress.)

The contrary persona of Rat Sass that I developed through my interactions in the theatroshpere may, just may, have run its course.   By way of Bette Midler’s adjustment to the adage “to call a spade a spade,” the Rat Sass modus operandi has been “to call a spade a shovel.”   Attempting to characterize theatre talk substance does not endear you to any colleagues you might critique unflatteringly, not matter what the style.  But astute readers, or those peers who have a personal relationship with me, would never have read the Rat Sass narrator and its author as the same person.  Those who have known my writing the longest realize that the persona has been in evolution at least since the “Mary Feast” days of the rat-list.   I tried to transport some of the character of that legendary theatre list-serv into the developing blogosphere.  But it didn’t take long for the theatrosphere to devolve into almost a mirror image of the dull beast that the rat-list had become when it closed at the end of 2004.

The rat-list met with irrelevancy as self-promotion gradually supplanted what once had been a raucous exchange of theatre ideas. Beyond the ideas, the rat-list also served as open forum for proposals of collaborative national and international projects and productions. But the old soldiers of this once vibrant exchange slowly faded away. Or more precisely perhaps, there was a generational shift. The rat-list and Rat Conference had grown into prominence with the blossoming of the Internet and Web in the mid- 90’s.   The present day inheritors of that digital world are who I’ve been calling the Facebook Generation — a cross-generational peer group whose focus is “the representation” of the self.   Contrast that with the Woodstock generation whose focus was centered on “the exploration” of the self.

I went into art as an explorer of the self and its habitat. But this gnostic search never really has a cultural counterpart, belonging always primarily to the Steppenwolf and its magic theater.   I hope to discover that same less-traveled road again.  It seems more “counter-culture” now than ever.

Dorothea Lange, The Road West

Dorothea Lange, The Road West

Filed under: Personal2 Comments »

Hello loyal readers,

By Nick Fracaro at 4:22 pm on Friday, September 25, 2009

Has it really been a whole year? Thanks to all who have written me personally over this time asking about my neglect of Rat Sass. Well, I’m back. I think. We’ll see anyway.

Although over the last year I have briefly visited the theatrosphere by writing in the comment sections of other blogs, for the most part I haven’t been following the beast too closely.

From my initial browsing, I think not much has changed in this fiction. The narrative continues to evolve along fairly predicable lines with all characters fulfilling their role and serving their function.

I have been trying to connect to the transformative element in art and writing again. Something old school. Something archaic and ritualistic, peopled with archetypes. Something belonging to psyche or soul, beyond the access of the rational ego. I have been there before, so I know the place, but I am not sure if I have the heart to journey into that magical madness again.

rattail

The character of Rat Sass may or may not serve this new pursuit, but I hope to continue with the amusements here regardless.

Filed under: Personal3 Comments »

Avant Yarde Event Monday Evening

By Nick Fracaro at 10:29 pm on Thursday, August 21, 2008

Eat, meet, and greet
New work by TravSD and Katherine Adamenko

6pm-9pm: Potluck Barbecue and Performance
Monday, August 25

The Avant Yarde
214 Dean Street (Between Nevins and Bond)
Brooklyn

Performance/reading will be approximately 40 minutes long. FREE admission with your favorite barbecue item or prepared dish to share. Please RSVP to Gabriele as seating is limited.

******************************

Sea / Herself:
The (De)volution of a Beauty Queen

SEA / HERSELF dances down feminine archetypes to unmask the authentic self. Hidden behind layers of make-up and societal graces, the feminine mask of beauty is stripped away to reveal the inner child in all her innocent splendor. Now liberated, the authentic wild woman emerges, returning to sea/herself.

Katherine Adamenko is a performance artist, Butoh dancer, actress and writer. Her unique style of cabaret performance art and renegade interactive performance have been seen on stage, in galleries, museums, parks, streets, kitchens and bathrooms throughout the United States and Europe. To learn more about Katherine and Ladypants Productions, please visit www.Ladypants.com.

***************************

TravSD’s first new experimental play in over a decade…

Elk Milk, or Custer Wore an Arrow Shirt

Mixing elements of Hollywood westerns, early Shepard, and vaudeville sketch, Elk Milk pokes fun at military paranoia and American terror of “the alien.”

Is the enemy without… or within?

Featuring Matt Gray, Bob Brader, Jeff Lewonczyck, Gyda Arber, et al.

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We all still wish they all could be…

By Nick Fracaro at 3:33 pm on Thursday, July 10, 2008

I am mostly with E. Hunter in her theory about sex and geography.

How is sex geographic? Or maybe it’s atmospheric? More likely. I can only speak for myself, but the humidity of the south really does have a positive effect on one’s libido. I’ve confirmed this theory with exactly one other southerner who also agreed that California can be rather dry. Ahem.

But I think she needs to add that nobody can represent the essence of wet dreams better than California. All those hard and healthy tanned bodies on that primordial beach.

And what about those California girls?

I have a theory myself here about California Girls, on why they have evolved to the top of the food chain. A generally unknown historical fact is that woman could vote, own property and work outside the home from the moment that Los Angeles was founded on Sept. 4, 1781. So my theory is that the East Coast girls and Southern Belles and others never really caught up with this 139-year lead the California girls had in their independent style and class.

And for further elucidation on why we all still wish they all could be California girls, consider this 40-year evolution of the musical film/video tribute to the species. From the Beach Boys in 1965 to David Lee Roth in 1985 to the current Dresden Dolls. Two fun blasts from the past, then the “Brechtian punk cabaret” musical duo Dresden Dolls. Their reinterpretation of the David Lee Roth video in Shores of California is inspired in its breakdown of the stereotype. And an especially nice visual cue having facial tissues dispensed during these repeating lyrics.

Why all these conflicting specifications
Maybe to prevent overpopulation
All I know is that all around the nation
The girls are crying and the boys are masturbating
The girls are crying and the boys are masturbating


Beach Boys “California Girls” 1965

David Lee Roth “California Girls” 1985

Dresden Dolls “Shores of California” 2007

Filed under: Personal1 Comment »

Subtext to Text

By Nick Fracaro at 1:41 pm on Monday, May 26, 2008

I have noticed that I am beginning to develop a new relationship to blogging. I am finding my comment writing in others’ blogs just as challenging, if not more so, than the writing of my own posts.

I have taken partial lead on this from Mac Rogers. The SlowLearner is also slow on blog postings but he is often present in comment sections of the theatrosphere with his pointed questions.

I have been thinking of the comment sections of the theatrosphere as the subtext to the hyperlink exchange of blog posts.

Subtext can be a way for the creator of a work to relay ideals, principles, controversial relationships or political statements without alienating viewers or readers who may balk at the ideas or even reject the work.”

For some time now, I have been exploring the theatrosphere as a “fictive reality” that contains both a Rat Sass persona and the “real” nick, as much as the real Nick can actually present himself. In the comment sections of other blogs, my persona shifts slightly, like a chameleon altering skin color to blend into its environment.

So I find myself writing and editing my comments more deliberately in belief that the “real” conversation of the theatrosphere is being propelled and directed from there.

The below is my recent comment at Angry White Guy that feels like a bookend to a long conversation thread I have been participating in, and often instigating or reviving, through various comment sections. It began at Don Hall’s review of a Greyzelda production, traveled over to Praxis, then over to Trailing Spouse Blues, back to the big brawl at Don’s again, then a post at Rat Sass, and then another one. If you look at the dates of these posts and comments you will discover that this conversation has been going on for over a month now. I admire and appreciate both Rebecca and Don for their stamina. It must have been emotionally trying to be constantly thrown into the defensive as the subjects of this important discussion.

Punk Ethos and Writing

…but in the world of punk, if it sucked, you got punched in the face or had a beer bottle thrown at you. In this FaceBook Nation of ours, the call for more civility and more constructive approaches is exactly the opposite of a punk ethos.

Exactomundo. And the punk zines were part and parcel of that ethos which led the way to the zine scene of ‘80’s with its aggressive and belligerent style of writing. The zine movement segued into the argumentative writing and discussion found on Internet listservs of the ‘90’s. All of which leads to the blogosphere. What people call “snark” today is actually the nth generational manifestation of this alternative zine writing style.

Those bloggers calling for more civil or politically correct talk are often Johnnies Come Lately to writing; their blog is their first attempt to actually write anything other than their very proper high school or college papers. But writing school papers was work. So instead of writing, blogging has become more like transcribed talk. This discourse style believes that just by keeping its schoolboy etiquette, its patter will somehow be elevated into something of value. But there is a vast difference between spewing out one’s opinions and honing one’s thoughts into ideas that could impact on the mindset of a reader. So the Snarkless Marks’ antagonism to an uncivil tone is also their envy of any crafted or edited writing.

Blog posts/comments are as public as our art is, but generally the writing is treated cavalierly…“throwing in my two-cents” on this or that “Question of the Day.” Such pandering to one another for innocuous comments effectively lowers the common denominator of exchange and is infinitely more destructive than any “discussion tone.” So it’s no wonder that anytime anyone actually attempts to write in the theatrosphere with deliberation to create effect (as most of us actually attempt to do with our art) an episode of Sturm und Drang is likely to develop among the chit-chatters.

The relationships in these social networks in FaceBookNation (including the theatrosphere) are based on weak ties when compared to peer production. We give no quarter when practicing our art, demanding full passion and commitment from collaborators. If we practiced blogging with just a fraction of the ardent assurance we practice theatre, every day we would rehearse yesterday’s text, honing out our dishonesties and trivialities, not our incivilities.

Filed under: Personal,Theatre and Culture19 Comments »

On the Lex-Train to Gómez-Peña

By Nick Fracaro at 10:57 am on Thursday, April 24, 2008

By angel I mean shaman I mean crazy fuck.

But these human souls who speak in tongues with an ancient voice go mostly unheard today. That’s because most flesh has transformed in recent years into its new function as portable media player.

On the subway trains the riders all believe their iPods are unique to their identity. But mass communication is becoming mass transportation is becoming mass media. And the mass no longer hears its flesh, its tongue. Their identities have been mediated and melded into an alien being that is no longer of their body.

“Man is estranged from that with which he is most familiar.” More true today than when Heraclitus first said it in 500 B.C..

The world is still magic. Riding the subway to visit Gómez-Peña these last two nights I have opened myself to the mystery again. I wonder if I can stay here. The border town is a very dangerous place full of crazy fuck half-breeds. I have my art form, but it’s often not enough in this realm.

The old man kept glancing at me out of the corner of his eye but no one except me would know this. Everyone else in the train car would understand the old man simply to be shouting and wagging his finger at the youngblood with an iPod in his ears.

“I don’t stink. What are you saying, that I stink! I can buy more bathtubs than you got fingers! That bitch don’t know nothing, saying that I stink. ”

Youngblood keeps lip-synching to his iPod, either unaware or unconcerned.

“I used to do some sports. If a team is doing bad for awhile, you can say the team stinks. But I don’t stink. I don’t know what you are talking about, me stinking.”

The old man pauses in his speech, winding his head around in small circles, preparing to deliver his next sentence. He speaks in a resolute manner.   “The way I feel today, I just may take a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.”

I am the old man’s audience. I have the only eyes in the train that dare meet his.

“Yeah, the way I feel today I just may walk across that bridge. Call me Tarzan, bitch. Pound on my chest and make the big leap.” He starts to rhyme and time his speech. “Don’t be getting in my way… not today.. I’m here to play. I can take the bus or take the train… or walk, I’ll get there all the same. I don’t stink, bitch.”

I nod to him. I know the controlled fury and bravado necessary to survive in this border town. I also know that bridge he will need to continually cross between here and there. He gets off at the Brooklyn Bridge stop. I continue north. That is, norte, to Spanish Harlem.

The last twenty-some years gentrification has worked over the neighborhood at Lexington and 103rd. It is still El Barrio but my stroll to Fifth Avenue is a cakewalk. I have been the Art Whitey so many times in so many neighborhoods in this city, that I am hyper aware of the gaze that can often settles on me simply because of my skin color. As I approach the group of young Nuyoricans shadow boxing with one another at the corner of the project at 104th my being begins to transform. I begin to call the Tarzan up into my flesh and the crazy fuck grace of god up into my mind. I have been here before, hundreds of times, and survived. I’ll do it again. But no worry. The kids don’t even notice me.

I really need to get out of my house more. It’s a whole new city.

The theatre at the Museum holds a few hundred and is full when I arrive. House lights are on but Gómez-Peña is already on stage behind his card table full of props. Well, not really props, but a bottle of Myer’s Rum, and other containers of spirits, elixirs, and magic lotions that GP is ritualistically applying to himself. He is costumed both as a Mexican senorita and a Conquistador, so it is unclear whether he is preparing himself to go to war or make love.

The house lights go down and GP steps out into the stage light incanting in an ancient voice. He sprays an aerosol can into the four directions as he intones each of their names solemnly in Spanish. The mist reflects the stage light in a magical way.

I know what he is doing. He is pulling that Tarzan crazy fuck grace up into his flesh. He needs to speak in tongues tonight. He needs to speak in truth. He is facing his audience now with his spay can in his right hand. He raises his left fist into the air as if in a show of defiance and solidarity. But he then quickly sprays himself in his left armpit, and the magic spray of his ritual is reduced now to just a can of underarm deodorant. The audience all laugh, except for me, because GP is looking at me out of the corner of his eye. The old man is talking to me alone. We are the only ones in the room who hear and understand the Gringo Lingo of this song.

“I don’t stink. I don’t know what you are talking about, bitch. The way I feel today, I just may take a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.”

Filed under: Personal1 Comment »

On the A-Train to Gómez-Peña

By Nick Fracaro at 10:58 am on Wednesday, April 23, 2008

On the subway to see the lecture yesterday I was part of the captive audience in the train car. The goofy looking homeless guy was pulling a small kid’s wagon. He seemed to be speaking in tongues, but then a moment later, he started singing in tongues. Sweetly, insanely. He was an angel after all. I knew that only later. I knew that only after he had left the train.

If only I could find his performance again. I would attend the second time with more attention. If only that homeless alien of human society from the A-Train could schedule himself to a certain time and place as Guillermo Gómez-Peña does. I would learn from just his presence in our shared close room.

I would learn why that cruel god has put flesh on these wandering souls and commissioned them to speak and sing to us.

Have you come just to witness my mind at work?

His friends seem to call him GP.

GP walks on stage. He is wearing a Mexican woman’s black dress, a high heel shoe on his right foot, a macho trucker boot with a silver buckle on his left foot.

The only difference between a madman and a performance artist is the audience.

We are his captive audience. The small room at NYU is as crowded as the rush hour train car that brought me here.

My life now is walking the border between enlightenment and illness. I explain to a nurse who is charged with my care what I do for a living. She only half believes me, the other half of her knows for certain that I am insane.

I became a poet instead of a criminal or a shaman. Those were the three paths offered to me. Art has allowed me to act out my anti-social tendencies.

I cross the border without documents just to make a point.

I think back at the homeless angel on the subway train. He had stopped speaking in tongues when he reached my section of the train. I was in the center of the train, where the conductor operates the doors and such from that little cubicle. The cart the alien was pulling was full of little packages. The sign on it read Free Gifts for the Homeless. He was an angry angel now. Fuming. The wagon was suddenly too heavy for him to pull.

“No! No! You can’t have any of it! It’s all mine!”

The wagon weighed a ton now. But he had to keep pulling it.

“It’s all mine! None for you!”

The conductor was calling the authorities now. But it was too late. The alien had already exited with his wagon of gifts.

How many performance artists does it take to screw in a light bulb? I have no idea. I left after the third hour.

The art world is full of compromise. No one really believes it was your choice to be inconsequential. I am the existential wolf that went to sleep one night and woke up the next morning atop a New York skyscraper. I live in a community of difference, temporary retreats with howling outsiders. I long for my peers. I am the lone wolf howling at the moon, longing for his kindred pack. I would run with you. I would lick your wounds at night while you licked mine. We each have 45 scars from our art. Let’s count them again. We have no health insurance but we have each other. We are old soldiers in an eternal war, abandoned on the field, alien to all but our own.

Testing. Testing. Testing. This is the sound of my voice rehearsing. Blah. Blah. Blah.

Yet I would learn to speak not as performance artist but as that angel who spoke in the subway. He was a fellow traveler on the pilgrimage. We each cross borders, the three of us. GP, the subway angel, and me. We are the poet, criminal, shaman. I would follow him, the leader, the spirit, as audience and participant, but they have replaced our imaginations with fear.

Since Nine Eleven I have been obsessed with hope. Today one third of mankind lives away from their homeland.

No human beings are illegal.

I carry this heavy wagon of gifts. The audience is a captive one. They stare at me. I am obsessed with hope. I believe there is a place for everyone.

Almost everyone.

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Launch Party for New York Theater Review 2008

By Nick Fracaro at 7:14 am on Friday, April 11, 2008

masthead nytr

cover nytr

New York Theater Review 2008 Officially Greets the World

Tonight Friday, April 11
at Drama Book Shop
250 W. 40th St.
Manhattan
6-8pm

Editor Brook Stowe will be reading from the bloggers interview section of the journal in-between performance excerpts from the plays. The NYC bloggers interviewed are Blindsquirrel Bloggings (aka Johnna Adams), Obscene Jester, sharkskin girl and Tweed (aka T. Nikki Cesare & Steve Luber), The Playgoer (aka Garrett Eisler), Jason Grote (aka Jason Grote), and your friend Rat Sass. I’m commuting from my day job, so I’ll be there a little late, around 7pm. If we haven’t met, and you’d like to say hi, I’ll be wearing a camouflaged RatSass t-shirt.

Be There or Be Square!

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Awake From Your Slumber!

By Nick Fracaro at 1:31 pm on Saturday, March 15, 2008

Our current project with Theater Rampe Stuttgart in Germany commissioned a new script from Austrian author Andreas Jungwirth. Outside Inn examines how capitalism has infiltrated into the most personal parts of our lives. In the passage below the character Paul, inheritor of the “family’s” business, relates a conversation in which his father-in-law, the legendary corporate CEO known as “the German,” explains where “we” are going next.

“Kalowski has been silent the entire time. Suddenly he asks me to listen. Kalowski explains how wars make it possible to make a lot of money. Iraq, Afghanistan. But that it was also possible to make very large sums of money. We’re going into Iran. Iran – ? That’s impossible. Kalowski says nothing’s impossible. That I should remember that from here on out. After our return to Germany, it would be my job to develop a strategy for circumventing EU guidelines.”

I was thinking about this when watching a new music video now available at youtube and a growing number of sites. It appears to be a kind of video trailer for a DVD documentary that Ralph Nader and Patti Smith teamed up to make from their Democracy Rising Peace Tour (see description below). As Michael Lithgow at Art Threat points out.

This seems to be increasingly an integral part of U.S. politics, no doubt in part because of the phenomenal success of will-i.am’s Barack Obama video “Yes we can” which has been downloaded over 6 million times and links the Obama campaign with a who’s who of cultural literati.

Patti and Ralph look good together. They are the dream team for El Presidente and Veep of the always present and disruptive alternative rebel nation in this country. Ralph words “The way to respect the troops is to get them out of there and bring them to safety” are intercut with Patti’s rock drone at microphone “Awake from your slumber. And get ’em with the numbers.”

“Awake From Your Slumber” brings together two visionaries: citizen-activist Ralph Nader and punk poet Patti Smith, in a powerful dialogue of war and peace. Touring together as the Democracy Rising Peace Tour, Ralph and Patti make the case against the Iraq war and the corporate takeover of our democracy. Produced by the Hudson Mohawk Independent Media Center, AWAKE mixes image, music and spoken word to strip away the facade of political lies and reveal the annihilation of civilization, war profiteering, the unseen dead, and the unheard cries of motherhood. “Awake From Your Slumber” is history lesson, poetry reading and rock concert. Above all, it is an inspiring, mesmerizing, and deeply moving call to action, showing the power of the people to make change.

(Crossposted at International Culture Lab blog.)

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Bloggers Night™ Newsletter

By Nick Fracaro at 3:06 pm on Monday, February 11, 2008

bloggers images

bloggers images

Critic’s Contra-Review of Blogger’s Preview Review

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Vellum Jacket Blogger

By Nick Fracaro at 2:14 pm on Monday, February 4, 2008

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100 Movies 100 Quotes 100 Numbers

By Nick Fracaro at 3:13 pm on Thursday, January 3, 2008

‘Tis the season to be compiling “the list.” Here’s the best I’ve seen.

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Mantra for the New Year

By Nick Fracaro at 8:27 pm on Tuesday, January 1, 2008
2008
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I Trusted You

By Nick Fracaro at 8:45 am on Monday, December 24, 2007

I am presently writing for the next issue of New York Theater Review. More like, I am trying to write. The medium feels totally alien to me. How do you write about the theatrosphere for a journal that won’t be published until this spring? I already need to ammend partially what I said three weeks ago in my State of the Union. But instead of blogging on this subject as I normally would, I will be writing on it for the journal instead. Despite the struggle, or because of it, I like the assignment and the small group of bloggers editor Brook Stowe has gathered to examine the subject.

At the crux of everything is the private v. public dilemma of how we represent “who we are” in our new digital medium. Primary to both my practice and exploration here at Rat Sass is how this new realm impacts on relationships with our peers in theatre. Those relationships then impact on how we produce theatre, as well as how we document and represent theatre to the rest of culture.

Of course I am interested personally in George Hunka and Leonard Jacobs when I explore what they write in their blogs because they are both active members in the theatre community beyond their writing. However, I only comment on their public personas, not their private lives, as I attempt to catergorize the New Georges of the Theatrosphere. My investigation is how the New Georges impact and interact with my own public persona and with the representation of the theatre blogging/theatre community to which I belong.

I write and talk privately to some peers within this exploration. I also write similarly on different semi-private theatre listservs. And ultimately I also post on this blog as part of the study. An understood aspect of the dialogue at all these places is trust, and its converse, risk. I risk a private or semi-private email to you and I trust you will not use it against me. Or I risk an honest public blog post (as George did) even though it may ostracize or divide me from the whole or part of the theatre community — at least temporarily. So there are different levels of trust and risk at each of these places.

I usually discuss most of the dialogue at all these different places with Gabriele, my partner in life and theatre, and my writing editor, in whom the trust/risk public/private converge. Our individual or joint public risks in theatre have the safety of the private trust we have built over many years between one another and our closest friends and peers (our theatre). The interaction of this trust/risk within the community is what theatre means to me.

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Food for Thought

By Nick Fracaro at 9:27 pm on Sunday, December 16, 2007

I often visit the Tree
Untangling from fiber as living flesh
Serpent tongue
Eve’s inner ear wishes
Whispering sweet nothings
Washing away memory of earlier gods
She tastes Adam’s apple
Flesh so like yet so unlike her own
This is not transgression this
Is life seeking its own godhead
Swallowing its own tail

Elmer and Bugs, Sylvester and Tweety, Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote
Looney Toon Socratic Method
Hunt and pursuit but never any capture
Also Strindberg’s eternal war between the sexes

Self Portrait
edge of ledge of knowledge
diva tongue
fridge
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