We really don't care about theatre do we?

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however, theatre only really works in venues seating less than a few hundred people.

DV (dirtyvicar), Friday, 25 April 2003 11:02 (11 years ago) Permalink

1 year passes...
I haven't been to the theatre in ages mainly because the sort of theatre i like no longer comes to Glasgow. Ten years or so ago Mainly because of the Tramway) it was possible to come to Glasgow to see The Wooster group perfmoring almost their entire ouvre (the only place in Europe you could see it) of which i have seen Brace Up!, LSD (just the highlights) and House/Lights. Their new one "Poor Theatre" is just about to kick of in New York - i'd love to see it and am extremely jealous of you new yorkers.

In addition Lepage/ Ex Machina were frequent visitors to Glasgow and i think i have seen most oof his plays here. Theatre de Complicite don't come here anymore either. I miss stuff like this.

jed_ (jed), Sunday, 24 October 2004 17:56 (9 years ago) Permalink

what about DANCE?

RJG (RJG), Sunday, 24 October 2004 17:59 (9 years ago) Permalink

I meant to go to the tramway, this weekend, but forgot.

RJG (RJG), Sunday, 24 October 2004 17:59 (9 years ago) Permalink

are you dancing tonight?

jed_ (jed), Sunday, 24 October 2004 18:01 (9 years ago) Permalink

I would like to but I have stupid things, to be up for.

RJG (RJG), Sunday, 24 October 2004 18:05 (9 years ago) Permalink

Dan sums up my own feelings well upthread. Theatre is irrelvant and invariably dull. Upper class and upper middle class goons go to it to feel special and sophisticated. I've met these people and they are assholess so why should I want to be in their company anyway?

Mad.Mike, Sunday, 24 October 2004 18:37 (9 years ago) Permalink

well you're just in a theatre so you're not really in their company. The theatre i love most is not likt that at all in any case.

jed_ (jed), Sunday, 24 October 2004 18:40 (9 years ago) Permalink

The 'theater' is so far from being dead that it has become the dominant art form.

Of course, this is only true if you disregard the technical differences between onstage performance, film and television. As far as I am concerned the differences really are minor technicalities.

In all three media you have scripted dialogue telling a story with actors, costumes, scenery, lighting, incidental music, and so on.

The fact that a camera lens imposes a control over the audience's point-of-view that cannot be utilized in stage performances does not make much difference in my view. Stage direction tries to filter the audience's attention, too, except it uses lighting effects, blocking of actor's movements, and other technical means that are somewhat less effective than a camera. The goal is quite similar.

Theater people are just blinded by their nostalgic love of certain techniques that must be modified or discarded in a filmed setting as opposed to a stage setting. They identify these technicalities with 'theater', abhor the new technicalities of movies and tv, and overlook the overwhelming similarities between all the various forms of the modern theater.

Aimless (Aimless), Sunday, 24 October 2004 18:49 (9 years ago) Permalink

i completely disagree, movies and theatre are MILES apart (pictures telling stories vs. actors telling stories), or at least they are when they're good

s1ocki (slutsky), Sunday, 24 October 2004 18:52 (9 years ago) Permalink

tv and theatre, however, are definitely a bit closer.

s1ocki (slutsky), Sunday, 24 October 2004 18:52 (9 years ago) Permalink

The fact that a camera lens imposes a control over the audience's point-of-view that cannot be utilized in stage performances does not make much difference in my view. Stage direction tries to filter the audience's attention, too, except it uses lighting effects, blocking of actor's movements, and other technical means that are somewhat less effective than a camera. The goal is quite similar.

you're making like montage is just another nifty gadget in the film director's toolbox; really it is ESSENTIAL to film, much more so than lighting and blocking is to theatre

s1ocki (slutsky), Sunday, 24 October 2004 18:54 (9 years ago) Permalink

i don't theater and film need be, um, dichotomized so aggressively. they can fruitfully feed off each other. by its very nature film and theater pose different artistic challenges. many qualities grouped under the epithet "theatrical" don't really seem very essentially theatrical to me--just a legacy of the conventional wisdom that film only became film after it tossed off its debt to the theater (and "griffith invented cinema" etc.).

amateur!!!st (amateurist), Sunday, 24 October 2004 18:57 (9 years ago) Permalink

well maybe i'm being reactionary. but i do think tv and theatre have a lot more in common than movies & theatre.

s1ocki (slutsky), Sunday, 24 October 2004 18:58 (9 years ago) Permalink

bla bla proscenium arch bla bla.

s1ocki (slutsky), Sunday, 24 October 2004 18:58 (9 years ago) Permalink

as an art form practiced in the real world, though, theater really has become marginalized.... any by film, i think, more than anything else. (film basically economically/otherwise supplanted entire theatrical traditions in a period of 10-20 years.) there's an argument that film is more appropriate for certain modes of drama--melodrama for instance. because its indexical quality makes it a better vehicle for spectacle and "illusion"--i think this is by and large true.

xpost

the spatial quality of film and theater are to a large extent opposed.... the camera's "field of vision" is like an upside-down triangle, whereas a conventional stage is a bit the opposite (why it's rare for a theater director to stage a signification action in the back of the stage--harder to ensure that the audience's attention is directed to it). so they pose very different staging problems. i don't quite buy aimless's argument that this means they are different only in the method by which an audience's attention is directed. i think there is a place for ontological speculation....

amateur!!!st (amateurist), Sunday, 24 October 2004 19:03 (9 years ago) Permalink

um, i mean, ROFFLE etc.

amateur!!!st (amateurist), Sunday, 24 October 2004 19:04 (9 years ago) Permalink

i think with staging it's a completely completely different ballgame, unless we're talking rotating stages or something here

s1ocki (slutsky), Sunday, 24 October 2004 19:06 (9 years ago) Permalink

anyway i think it's obvious that there are possibilities to filmic narration that simply aren't available in the theater--and this has implications for what films can do, how they can engage an audience. what isn't often brought up is what possibilities are inherent in theater and unavailable in film, aside from the "immediacy" thing--and i have to admit i haven't considered that and other possible advantages of theater too much, simply because theater has never had much place in my life. i have really enjoyed some plays, though, of course.

amateur!!!st (amateurist), Sunday, 24 October 2004 19:06 (9 years ago) Permalink

I LOVE CATS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

phil-two (phil-two), Sunday, 24 October 2004 19:06 (9 years ago) Permalink

as well theatre is like 90% WHAT THE PEOPLE DO, whereas with film this is not neccessarily so

s1ocki (slutsky), Sunday, 24 October 2004 19:07 (9 years ago) Permalink

xpost

slocki, it seems to me a hell of a lot of great films were made in the 1930s, and many of them were only a few baby steps away from being filmed stage productions with over-the-shoulder reaction shots and the occassional montage (thank you Sergei) to spice them up.

If montage is as ESSENTIAL as you say it is, then these films would have failed at birth, rather than becoming successful films - which, not coincidentally are still watched, enjoyed and studied today. Montage is just another nifty tool in a director's toolbox. It just happens to be such a useful tool that it gets used a lot.

Aimless (Aimless), Sunday, 24 October 2004 19:07 (9 years ago) Permalink

i think there is a nebulous actor-audience interaction in theatre that is cool and unique (xp)

s1ocki (slutsky), Sunday, 24 October 2004 19:07 (9 years ago) Permalink

ok aimless i agree that there quite often CAN be a significant overlap, but that it is not a neccessary one

s1ocki (slutsky), Sunday, 24 October 2004 19:08 (9 years ago) Permalink

and aimless even these "great 30s films" had cuts, closeups etc, they weren't just one-shot setups

s1ocki (slutsky), Sunday, 24 October 2004 19:09 (9 years ago) Permalink

I used to act - for years - I really enjoyed acting on stage. But the people were such pretentious, posho tossers that I'd personally say that if all theatre grants were destroyed and the whole industry put in the rubbish bin it would not be a great loss to humanity.

Mad.Mike, Sunday, 24 October 2004 19:10 (9 years ago) Permalink

a few baby steps away from being filmed stage productions with over-the-shoulder reaction shots and the occassional montage (thank you Sergei) to spice them up.

30s films are usually edited pretty briskly, so it's not simply a matter of using up a reel of film shooting an integral theatrical performance. "montage" doesn't mean soviet montage necessarily--just, y'know, editing bits of film together. all hollywood films are edited together from master shots, medium shots (plan american etc.), and occasionally inserts/close ups at a rate of i dunno one shot every 10-12 seconds. (nowadays it's more like every 5 seconds but we're talking about the 1930s)

i think this is pretty important: "filmed theater" isn't really as simple as that, the fact of it being filmed and edited together in the conventional way transforms the way the story is being told. perhaps the "meaning" is ultimately the same, but i'm not sure that's true or if it even matters so much.

amateur!!!st (amateurist), Sunday, 24 October 2004 19:11 (9 years ago) Permalink

that was a big ol' xpost

amateur!!!st (amateurist), Sunday, 24 October 2004 19:11 (9 years ago) Permalink

amateurist you haven't addressed mad mike's point.

s1ocki (slutsky), Sunday, 24 October 2004 19:12 (9 years ago) Permalink

even super-long take films aren't often really "filmed theater": gertrud, flowers of shanghai, etc. are pretty fucking cinematic (some would argue with that, i guess).

to get "filmed theater" you need to go back to 1895-1910 or so, like the original version of the "wizard of oz" which is basically "selected scenes from the stage play of 'the wizard of oz'"--but as i noted above the spatial aspect of film is such that a stage performance is NECESSARILY transformed if it is to be "faithfully" captured on film. those early films that don't bother with such a transformation are often incomprehensible and usually dismissed as "primtive" (that's another hill of beans or whatever).

amateur!!!st (amateurist), Sunday, 24 October 2004 19:14 (9 years ago) Permalink

yeah i didn't say long-take, i said one-setup

s1ocki (slutsky), Sunday, 24 October 2004 19:16 (9 years ago) Permalink

[shrugs] I also happen to think that people who have studied the very specific crafts and techniques of an art form are the absolutely worst people in the world to ask to distinguish between technical differences and fundamental differences among art forms. It would be like asking a lithographer whether lithography has much in common with engraving or intaglio. To a naive onlooker, they are all 'pictures', using composition, line and form.

Aimless (Aimless), Sunday, 24 October 2004 19:17 (9 years ago) Permalink

= "i give up"

s1ocki (slutsky), Sunday, 24 October 2004 19:18 (9 years ago) Permalink

sorry we're not naive enough for you

s1ocki (slutsky), Sunday, 24 October 2004 19:19 (9 years ago) Permalink

amateurist & i are discussing this in good faith, aimless, it's kind of annoying to have what we're saying totally dismissed for some dumbass reason just because we don't agree with you

s1ocki (slutsky), Sunday, 24 October 2004 19:20 (9 years ago) Permalink

oh, i know.

some "fixed setup" films do sort of selfconsciously evoke a "theatrical" quality, or even overtly beg comparison to theater: oliveira, etc.--or to "primitive" cinema (angelopoulos). and certain kinds of framing (even outside the context of a long-take style) can evoke theater, "performance" too with fruitful results. but lots of fixed-setup films really don't evoke theater at all. it's impossible to imagine hou or jia films as anything but cinema--the natural settings, natural lighting, etc. are absolutely critical.

anyway yeah so i think cinema can do a lot with "theatricality" and i don't think calling a film "theatrical" is a very convincing slur (unless you're writing in 1905, maybe).

i'm repeating myself and possibly not making sense.\

XPOST

s1ocki, i didn't find aimless's post dismissive. anyways i'm not a film student or anything. i'm not sure about agree/disagree--i don't think i dismissed aimless's post or embraced it fully. i just sort of responded to it.

amateur!!!st (amateurist), Sunday, 24 October 2004 19:22 (9 years ago) Permalink

my "oh, i know" was a response to yeah i didn't say long-take, i said one-setup

!!

amateur!!!st (amateurist), Sunday, 24 October 2004 19:23 (9 years ago) Permalink

haha i just gathered that phil-two is talking about the ALW musical! my grandma loved "memories"

amateur!!!st (amateurist), Sunday, 24 October 2004 19:23 (9 years ago) Permalink

sorry that kind of steamed me for some reason

s1ocki (slutsky), Sunday, 24 October 2004 19:24 (9 years ago) Permalink

i have an image of s1ocki as a caffe latte

amateur!!!st (amateurist), Sunday, 24 October 2004 19:24 (9 years ago) Permalink

now it's gone

amateur!!!st (amateurist), Sunday, 24 October 2004 19:24 (9 years ago) Permalink

s1ocki are you on aim? (i'm on aim for the first time in like 7 months...)

amateur!!!st (amateurist), Sunday, 24 October 2004 19:25 (9 years ago) Permalink

yes!!

s1ocki (slutsky), Sunday, 24 October 2004 19:27 (9 years ago) Permalink

1 year passes...
Did anyone see John Patrick Shanley's Doubt? I did, last night, since the stars (Cherry Jones and Brian F. O'Byrne) are leaving Sunday. Better than I expected, given my last two experiences with Pulitzer-winning drama (The Young Man from Atlanta and, yikes, Topdog/Underdog) weren't at all satisfying. Perhaps a tad 'clever' in its "You think you know what happened? Oh no you don't" structure, but the dialogue and acting were sharp. Having had a Catholic education may help.

Seen anything else? New Yorkers, Albee's Seascape?

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 4 January 2006 15:25 (8 years ago) Permalink

Or just that it's intriniscally hard to talk about on a global forum like this, performances being site and time specific?

that's probably it, coupled with the world's general philistinism. I wuv the theatre and wish i went to it more often. The last thing I saw was a monster production of Titus Andronicus before Christmas.

DV (dirtyvicar), Wednesday, 4 January 2006 15:27 (8 years ago) Permalink

I like the idea of monsters acting in plays.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 4 January 2006 15:29 (8 years ago) Permalink

RARRRR! OH NO, I HATE MY CO-STAR AGAIN!

DV (dirtyvicar), Wednesday, 4 January 2006 15:36 (8 years ago) Permalink

Theatre is brilliant, and there's really no reason not go more, esp. for those in London, and even here in provincial Oxford, which is awash with half-decent student productions as well as some great Sheakespeare. But last year I only caught a very good As You Like It and a seven-thumbs Waiting for Godo, which is poor. The last time I went near a theatre was to see Just a Minute when it was last in Oxford (hardly a visual spectacle, works better if you shut your eyes unsurprisingly) and next time I'm going is to see The Mighty Boosh in February.

We need a rolling Theatre S/D thread really, but as you all say, nobody cares.

Johnny B Was Quizzical (Johnney B), Wednesday, 4 January 2006 15:47 (8 years ago) Permalink

i agree DV, theatre is probably the most vital art form there is now, the level of creativity and expression is incredible. it's a shame that the thread devolved into people talking about cinema again.

xp i care

jed_ (jed), Wednesday, 4 January 2006 15:47 (8 years ago) Permalink

theatre is probably the most vital art form there is now

Yes, but why? (I'm not being flippant.)

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 4 January 2006 15:48 (8 years ago) Permalink

Excited to see this Peter Brook doc at some point:

http://www.filmlinc.com/films/on-sale/the-tightrope

That's So (Eazy), Monday, 10 February 2014 04:30 (5 months ago) Permalink

1 month passes...

Medea at the Riverside (run has just ended) was v good, in parts. Medea itself was played as a vampiric sort which didn't scan with the later, powerful scenes where the logic for her actions is more fully laid out with an emotional core to them. The messenger's speech and re-telling of death was poetically and psychologically convincing and my favourite bit of acting. The score was excellent as well.

I should re-watch the Pasolini film, the play made it seem worse in my faint recollection of it.

xyzzzz__, Sunday, 23 March 2014 12:13 (4 months ago) Permalink

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/30/theater/in-broadway-seats-few-guys-among-the-dolls.html?hpw&rref=arts&_r=0

why does dudes never want to watch rocky musicallllls

j., Sunday, 30 March 2014 14:48 (3 months ago) Permalink

everyone really owes it to themselves to see an episode of john jesurun's "chang in a void moon." these don't happen very often anymore...

http://www.incubatorarts.org/chang.html

Thus Sang Freud, Sunday, 30 March 2014 16:00 (3 months ago) Permalink

2 weeks pass...

Wanted to see this during its brief run last year... I guess it took a Pulitzer to get it reopened.

http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/04/14/pulitzer-winning-play-the-flick-to-reopen-in-new-york

images of war violence and historical smoking (Dr Morbius), Monday, 14 April 2014 23:56 (3 months ago) Permalink

2 weeks pass...

King Lear at the National last night (Dir: Sam Mendes, Lear: Simon Russell Beale). Not very good, really. Heavy handed modern military dictatorship setting; hard to feel anything for this Lear; didn't pull off the long scenes that you need for the narrative (eg reduction of the retinue); some quite poor verse-speaking (Regan basically incomprehensible by act V). So it hit that problem where it really drags during 4 & 5 because it's lost you during 1-3 (Bad sign: during final scene – Lear's death, Cordelia's corpse – I was mostly thinking about how Edgar is going to sort out this political mess). There were good things - Beale hit it sometimes, I liked Kent, the Fool and Goneril – but generally disappointed.

I do want some metaphysical horror at abject, obtuse & cruel existence in my lear, and there wasn't a bit of that.

woof, Tuesday, 29 April 2014 09:07 (2 months ago) Permalink

oh, & I'd seen this in one or two reviews & thought it was facetious or captious criticism… but it's quite hard to get Uncle Albert from Only Fools and Horses out of your head while watching Beale. I don't think it's just the beard – it's the movement & posture.

woof, Tuesday, 29 April 2014 09:26 (2 months ago) Permalink

yes I too detected a merryfieldian influence in his characterisation

conrad, Tuesday, 29 April 2014 09:41 (2 months ago) Permalink

well we don't know that here. I think I've only seen him onstage in Spamalot.

SRB is Falstaff in a new TV Henry IV

images of war violence and historical smoking (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 29 April 2014 10:57 (2 months ago) Permalink

from two years ago

conrad, Tuesday, 29 April 2014 11:24 (2 months ago) Permalink

btw morbs the flick totally slays, make sure you get to it

schlump, Tuesday, 29 April 2014 18:03 (2 months ago) Permalink

i'm playin G.W. in a production of S0rdid Lives. kinda fun, but def a weird turn for me

getting strange ass all around the globe (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 29 April 2014 19:27 (2 months ago) Permalink

Bush?

I just saw the DC production of Henry IV Part I with Stacy Keach as Falstaff... good, tis a pity the king is like the 5th most interesting character... But the actor who plays Hotspur is very distracting when shirtless bcz he has the most chiseled abs ever seen in the theater. During his "letter" scene I was just thinking "NO ONE is listening to you right now."

images of war violence and historical smoking (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 29 April 2014 19:32 (2 months ago) Permalink

I saw Stacy Keach as King Lear a few years ago (Robert Falls directing).

Set in post-Soviet Eastern Europe. Opening scene in a hotel bathroom, then ballroom:

That's So (Eazy), Tuesday, 29 April 2014 20:00 (2 months ago) Permalink

welp S0rdid opens tonight. even tho I've done this about 50 times now I'm a ball of nerves, fortunately I get to drink beer on stage tho.

getting strange ass all around the globe (Neanderthal), Friday, 9 May 2014 16:07 (2 months ago) Permalink

break a leg n!

difficult listening hour, Friday, 9 May 2014 18:30 (2 months ago) Permalink

sanks!

getting strange ass all around the globe (Neanderthal), Friday, 9 May 2014 18:31 (2 months ago) Permalink

1 month passes...

@MarkHarrisNYC
When I was a kid, they showed actual scenes from plays on the Tonys. Sometimes they made me want to see plays. Thank God they stopped that.

images of war violence and historical smoking (Dr Morbius), Monday, 9 June 2014 16:12 (1 month ago) Permalink

3 weeks pass...

any theatre homies know anything that's playing the San Diego Fringe? First one I see with a pedigree is an Edinburgh standup alum, Jon Bennett.

http://www.sdfringe.org/2014/shows.php

son of a lewd monk (Dr Morbius), Monday, 30 June 2014 16:14 (3 weeks ago) Permalink


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