Tuesday, May 29, 2007

That sinking feeling? Manifest.

To introduce a blog: Better still, to introduce one's self to an unfamiliar niche through a blog:

A haven for shit, having hit the fan, to recoup and rally on stronger than before into the breach of Chicago theatrical arts and, hopefully, theatrical arts as a whole.

Why Chicago? Two small reasons. A) I live here. And change, as they say, starts at home. B) The reason I live here: of the "Big Three", Chicago is the one commune in which hope remains in 2007 for a true artistic awakening. LA has figured out where the money is and NY is the complicit marketing machine asserting that the money is where it is not. Chicago's got a lot of work ahead of it, but at least the city has not become a cliche draped over the art, relegated to a blind grasping for light.

Why theatre? Two small reasons. A) It's what I do. And change, as they say, starts within. B) My embarrassment for what I do: Theatre has become the stalest art form this side of opera. While visual art, music, literature, poetry, dance, film, and even television and web art are consistently to some degree allowing for, supporting, or even encouraging individualistic and questionary visions, theatre is on a continual spiral into the audience ego.

I, as a theatre artist, live to please no audience member. And this is where theatre is failing: the necessity of an immediate audience presence has fooled us into assuming that audience must be catered to. The intelligent audience is not looking for what they want. They are looking for what they don't know exists. The inferior audience member? They can have Mamma Mia and slowly rot under a goofy grin.

I will not provide entertainment. I will provide what the world doesn't know exists. When this entertains, this entertains. When this does not, it serves to follow that this does not. And true artists in Chicago (of which there are many, and most of them underused) will follow and lead in turn. And the form will continue without sucrose spectacle and without unfelt ovations.

Because Chicago's slate can be blank again.

P. Rekk