Tuesday, December 05, 2006
manifesto for a theatregoer
The kind of theatre I want to see, the theatre I most enjoy, the theatre I am willing to pay money to see, the theatre I give the benefit of the doubt to even if it’s not all working completely is like this: I like plays where I know the playwright is reaching towards something or struggling with something. I like the playwright who says I am troubled by this and think it should be on the stage. I like it when a play is written about something important to the playwright. I like plays that experiment with language or form. I like visually beautiful and theatrical plays. I like plays in which actors use movement, voice, rhythm in unusual ways. I like funny plays. I like smart plays. I like plays that make me think. I like plays with a lot of heart about people trying to connect with other people. I like plays with tight construction that keep you on the edge of your seat. I like plays that are about something, not plays that pretend to be about something. I like plays that are constantly surprising. I don’t like plays where I don’t learn anything. I don’t like plays where horrible things after horrible things happen to characters and there is no hope. I especially don’t like it when characters do evil things without any real reason. I don’t like it when a play is produced and there are clear problems of consistency or flabby writing that could have been fixed but weren’t. I like plays directed by geniuses. I like plays with quirky characters. I like plays that star actors that are too interesting for Hollywood. Sometimes I like musicals. I like plays that are fun. I don’t like plays about celebrities. Or that star celebrities, especially if that is all the play has going for it. I like witty plays. And clever plays. I like plays that make me think of bright colors. I like ninety minute plays and sixty minute plays. I like plays about love.