online discount medstore
advair diskus for sale
buy advair diskus without prescription
allegra for sale
buy allegra without prescription
aristocort for sale
buy aristocort without prescription
astelin for sale
buy astelin without prescription
atarax for sale
buy atarax without prescription
benadryl for sale
buy benadryl without prescription
buy clarinex without prescription
clarinex for sale
buy claritin without prescription
claritin for sale
buy flonase without prescription
flonase for sale
buy ventolin without prescription
ventolin for sale
amoxil for sale
buy amoxil without prescription
augmentin for sale
buy augmentin without prescription
bactrim for sale
buy bactrim without prescription
biaxin for sale
buy biaxin without prescription
buy cipro without prescription
cipro for sale
buy cleocin without prescription
cleocin for sale
buy dexone without prescription
dexone for sale
buy flagyl without prescription
flagyl for sale
buy levaquin without prescription
levaquin for sale
buy omnicef without prescription
omnicef for sale
amaryl for sale
buy amaryl without prescription
buy cozaar without prescription
cozaar for sale
buy diabecon without prescription
diabecon for sale
buy glucophage without prescription
glucophage for sale
buy glucotrol without prescription
glucotrol for sale
buy glucovance without prescription
glucovance for sale
buy micronase without prescription
micronase for sale
buy prandin without prescription
prandin for sale
buy precose without prescription
precose for sale
buy cialis professional without prescription
cialis professional for sale
buy cialis soft without prescription
cialis soft for sale
buy cialis super active without prescription
cialis super active for sale
buy cialis without prescription
cialis for sale
buy levitra without prescription
levitra for sale
buy viagra professional without prescription
viagra professional for sale
buy viagra soft without prescription
viagra soft for sale
buy viagra super active without prescription
viagra super active for sale
buy viagra super force without prescription
viagra super force for sale
buy viagra without prescription
viagra for sale
buy celebrex without prescription
celebrex for sale
buy colcrys without prescription
colcrys for sale
buy feldene without prescription
feldene for sale
buy imitrex without prescription
imitrex for sale
buy inderal without prescription
inderal for sale
buy indocin without prescription
indocin for sale
buy naprosyn without prescription
naprosyn for sale
buy pletal without prescription
pletal for sale
buy robaxin without prescription
robaxin for sale
buy voltaren without prescription
voltaren for sale

Actor’s Dramaturgy

By Nick Fracaro at 11:02 am on Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The developed actor’s dramaturgy is different in nature from that of the script. Words are meant to be spoke, spat, sung, and danced in theatre, not written and read. Yet the written/read text, the play, has evolved into the author(ity), the alpha and omega, of most theatre produced in this country.

Whenever I dwell for any length of time exclusively in the physical study of performance, a strange third eye opens. The body returns to its ritual self, the core of theatre, dance, and song.

From this place of physical intuition it’s easy to see how wholly divorced the typical play is from the rich uniqueness of the actor’s dramaturgy. Playwrights most often write for the generic actor. Yet the actor’s dramaturgy is specific to the ensemble right down to the physical identity and capabilities of the individual performer.

The standard Norteamericano script today is a theory for theatre production essentially unchanged from the one Chekhov/Stanislavsky explored over a century ago. Stanislavsky’s system, and its inheritor, the Method, has narrowly defined and set parameters around actor’s training in the United States. The Method is uniquely suited to the psychological realism and behaviorisms perfected and exploited in film acting. The subtleties of the Method find far better expression on film than on stage. Yet playwrights most often are still creating work geared toward this very limited school of actor’s training and dramaturgy.

If actors were trained differently… If playwrights challenged actors with strange new worlds…

This is in most ways the chicken or the egg conundrum. Scott at Theatre Ideas highlights a quote by professor Sonja Kuftinec referencing a study revealing what might be lacking in theatre training at the university:

collaboration, ensemble-building, idea development, interdisciplinary approaches to creating art, listening, conflict resolution, community engagement, and application of artistic skills in a wide range of settings.

There is little or no emphasis in the classroom placed on collaboration, ensemble-building, or alternative careers in the field of theatre. Conventional production training tends to recycle a system that emphasizes the passivity of the individual actor rather than graduating students who can think critically and creatively about the value of theatre in society and who act upon those thoughts.

If the occassion for writing, acting, and directing a play was attached to some of the values and skills cited here, both the theatre artist’s role and American theatre itself would begin transforming dramatically.

The current cause celebre initiated by Richard Nelson against the “developmental culture in theatre” will not last much longer than his tenure as playwriting head at Yale. (Yale School of Drama is soliciting resumes to replace him now.) With Yale no longer providing the bully pulpit for change, this process will continue intact and unabated.

Nelson’s rant and cause was always a red herring; the institutionalization of this process begins at a level much deeper than the culture surrounding American regional theatre. The whole of the education and training for theatre “professionals” is involved in what in business would be called a pyramid scheme.

“Professional” playwrights most often earn their bread-and-butter working as teachers in drama departments around the country. So they have as much invested in the status quo of this institutionalized process of play development as anyone else. I put the word “professional” in quotes because there is only a handful of writers actually making a living in theatre but there are thousands of playwrights in schools and elsewhere teaching others how to write a “good play.” These teacher playwrights, including Richard Nelson, are serving effectively as salaried dramaturgs for their student playwrights. So if there is truly a need to scapegoat the “institutional dramaturg” for the ills of theatre culture, here would be the place to begin.

The artform needs less “good plays” and more great theatre for its revitalization. Of course there are many worthy theatre teachers (playwrights, directors, actors, dramaturgs) struggling within the various institutions in the pursuit of this goal but it is realistic not cynical to realize that change will be slow within this domain, if it occurs at all.

Theatre needs to be dramaturgically driven; that is, we need to question the why and wherefore every occassion we practice it. This will not happen in the institution or the “profession” where the roles we play are clearly defined, where turf and property rights are defended tooth and nail in a scarcity model where everyone is constantly auditioning at the lotto of celebrity and career. Why I find theatre so exciting as a producer, writer, director, performer, dramaturg is that the frontier of the artform is always easily accessible to me and my ad hoc wild tribe. And we don’t need no stinking badges to practice our game.

We recognize no borders. Rehearsing our life as the nomads we are; we ride the wind as a seed that will plant itself in the crack of the sidewalk. Theatre is the weed, the flower of this temporary root.

Filed under: Uncategorized4 Comments »

Theatre Without Borders

By Nick Fracaro at 1:34 pm on Monday, August 6, 2007

I’m off to butoh study for the next couple weeks in the boondocks of Germany northeast of Berlin. Gaby will be guest blogging at Rat Sass. Gaby is producer of the New York Butoh Festival. She is also in the process of forming a NYC based international theatre company stemming from her current project with an ensemble of German and American theatre artists.

Interesting to note that 36% of the city’s population is foreign-born. Couple this with the city’s other significant demographic, population density, and it’s easy to understand how daily life in NYC is its own kind of culture lab. To me and others, this is where to look for the “New York aesthetic.”

Filed under: Uncategorized Leave A Comment »

The New York Aesthetic?

By Nick Fracaro at 10:23 am on Monday, August 6, 2007

Scott, with assistance from Mac, has successfully beaten the dead horse to death again. Six weeks ago in a post I characterized the meme that animates the hoary horse’s life-like twitching at its ritualistic floggings.

“In historical retrospect we know that many of the urban v. rural and North v. South tensions of the American Civil War were still erupting during the Tombstone era in 1880. Interesting how this is only slightly different in species from the New York v. Hinterland and Red v. Blue state arguments currently being hosted in the Theatrosphere. Memes don’t die as readily as they mutate.”

Isaac and Parabasis’ comments box duplicate previous forensics on the corpse and Don Hall tries to step over it this morning to get back to making theatre. Of course once the current examination has been completed, this Rather Dead Horse will not be buried, but will be stuffed and mounted in the theatrosphere’s long established Department of Redundancy Department.

Once we were fighting words. We rose as flesh in dawn’s light to duel at fields of honour. But now the decrepit, senile debate merely mutters incoherently through its drool. Like the effete theatre engendered by grant-speak mission statements, proposals for action from the towers of privilege, the chat-fest of leisure, full of sound and fury.

In the comments section of my last post, Mac has asked me to arbitrate in the squabble.

I agree with you that bloggers shouldn’t be afraid to argue, and that it doesn’t mean that the theatrosphere is degenerating when we do.

Although, Nick, you are uncharacteristically reserved here. Do you endorse the ideas contained in the “That There Is Some Bullshit” post? As a longstanding participant in theater in New York and in many other communities, woud you regard the post as an accurate critique?

Let me also ask you a question about building community. In my post in response to Scott, I suggested that he might be interested to learn about the work being created by the New York bloggers with whom he is in contact, to know whether or not that work contains the prejudices and insular thinking he decries. If it doesn’t, he might come to see the New York community as just one of many communities around the country where his ideas are playing out in an interesting way. Would you agree with this?

Scott is an academic. Academics are not artists per se, but I consider them important peers in my theatre work. Theory, criticism, and documentation give relevance and context to theatre within the History of Great Ideas. Mac is an artist. As such, I could consider him either as a collaborator or a competitor; or, if I entertain the notion that theatre can be practiced in the ideal as athletes do during the Olympics, he could be both competitor and collaborator simultaneously. At the Innovative Theatre Awards gathering recently, Mac sat with his clan at one table. I sat with my clan at another. The hype of this ceremony is that we are all of the same tribe, and although it’s hype it’s not pretense. The off-off, downtown, independent theatre community does actually exist in New York, and most, if not all, New York bloggers Mac references identify with this off-off theatre community.

Scott bristles and doesn’t “take kindly to those who feel it is OK to insult academics.” Yet he would differentiate his Theatre Ideas from the “jargon and obscurity in academic journals.” Similarly Mac gets “cranky” about insults thrown at that old whore “New York theatre” even as he insists he can differentiate his clan and the other NY theatre bloggers from some “single NYC aesthetic.”

Broadway is unique in that it produces and/or validates a “theatre product” that is exported to other cities around the country and the world. So Mac is wrong if he thinks that the New York theatre community is “just one of many theatre communities around the country.” In most ways of measuring, New York is the recognized theatre capital of the world and the home and exporter of commercial theatre in this country. For many theatre ensembles and individuals from around the country, New York represents either figuratively or literally, the supra-community and audience for their work.

New York functions as a mindset more than it does as reality. “Can I have a career? Can I make a living from my art? “ New York serves as an aspect of the “sour grapes” psychology in all of us, including those of us living in the city, with the conflicting goals of a career in art versus a life in art.

These meetings happening around the Showcase Code are very telling. The producers pushing for reform give many reasons, but the main one is that 16 performances with the short four-week run stymies any attempt at finding the box office necessary to pay actors mini-contract wages. So these producers claiming to represent “independent theatre” are not really different from any other producer in the New York theatre. I mean other than they are allowed to work with Equity actors without the benefit of a contract as they attempt to become commercial.

The stated ambitions of these producers are contrary to many other off-off artist producers working in the city. Many artist producers in the city are not under this mandate of box office growth. Many know that regardless of the fact they are living in a city of 8 million, their audience is kindred, and thus finite in number. They will never make a career or a living from the box office of this audience, but the theatre they are exploring with them finds its value in other ways.

All of us are divided between these poles of career in art vs. a life in art. Scott is no different than Mac in this. The pot is as black as the kettle. Scott in his Ivory Tower talks about community. Mac attempts to practice community in the most commercial of cities.

The NY bloggers are as diverse as their city is. The review of Mac’s recent play by a fellow NYC theatre blogger Aaron Riccio says:

“…with a few tweaks, this play can certainly conquer a larger house.”

So I will finally answer Mac’s question to me, but in the Socratic manner, by asking another question. Yes, regardless of the qualifications I outlined, I agree that Scott should see the New York community as just one of many communities around the country where his ideas are playing out in an interesting way. My question to you concerns the arguments surrounding the “New York aesthetic.”

So does “independent” theatre, in New York or anywhere, tweak plays to find a bigger box office? And would any dramaturg even classify such an aspiration as an aesthetic?

Filed under: Uncategorized6 Comments »