Archive for April, 2013

Having fucked up shit vs. saying fucked up shit

April 21, 2013

(Some of my plays include strong language. I don’t normally put it in my blog. I’m making an exception here.)

This is something I wrestle with in my plays. It would be very safe for me as a white male, albeit queer, playwright, to write only white male characters. On the other hand, if I write female characters and characters of color – which I want to do to ensure there are roles for such actors and because I want to comment on our world and not a tiny subset of it – I have to try to get it right.

The Ars Marginal post by RVCBard is an outstanding analysis of what it means to actually try. The distinction of whether the fucked-upped-ness is that of the writer or the world of the characters is critical.

Ars Marginal

One of the things that always seems to trip people up when it comes to analyzing marginalized identities in stories is the difference between a story that has fucked up shit in it versus a story that says fucked up shit.

This is a very important distinction that everybody analyzing narrative media needs to understand.

So I’m going to help a muthafucka out right quick.

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Drawings and plays

April 12, 2013

I want to share a guilty secret. All of my plays – my full-length plays, anyway – are about me. That’s probably not unusual; if my plays didn’t include part of me, they’d probably be pretty lifeless.

Continue reading Drawings and plays

OMG it’s Fabulous Furry Friday

April 12, 2013

With this kind of intro to my Shakesbear Festival, I can’t help but reblog it! Shameless!

The Panda Chronicles

Well, here it is, Friday at last and I completely forgot to have something ready to speed you to your weekend, with dreams of pandas dancing in your brain.  What was I thinking?  To be honest, the cold that wouldn’t die is still making my head a little fuzzier than usual, but fortunately, there are many pandas in reserve!

But I do like the Friday pandas to be relevant, so today I give you the prologue to the Shakesbear pandas, as I am getting ready (finally!) to start working on some of the Shakespeare for Pandas plays that my brother wrote last year as part of a 31 plays in 31 days project.

Shakespeare is currently on my mind, because Whidbey Island’s very own Island Shakespeare Company is getting ready to launch a very exciting project.  Stay tuned for news of this exciting development!

The panda kindergarten will, of course…

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Will the real ovation please stand up?

April 8, 2013

It’s not quite that bad in San Francisco yet, although there seem to be audiences where its a mix. What’s driving me crazy here is the audiences that applaud after every scene. But not every theatre here is this way. No wonder my last few plays have no scene breaks.

wax and wane

I’d like to take this time to ponder something that might offend some of you, while others will applaud from their seats. I’m stuck on what has developed into the inevitability of the standing ovation.

A standing “o” used to be special; reserved for the outstanding performance. This once emotional and passionate show of appreciation has somehow turned into a reflex ­‑ a quixotic gesture that now means about as much as a polite handshake. What happened?

I first noticed the phenomenon when I moved from Chicago to the Northwest. An avid theater and concert goer, I began to notice the tendency of folks to spring to their feet at a curtain call, even if the performance wasn’t worthy. By the time I moved to Whidbey Island and jumped back onstage into the theater game, and found myself attending double-digit numbers of performances each month for my work, I realized the ovation…

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