Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Value for who?

When you speak of the value of theatre, are you talking about intrinsic value? The value it holds for you? Its current value within the artistic spectrum? Its current value within the world as a whole? Commercial value?

On the one hand, I want more specificity from this discussion. On the other, I'm already half bored and specificity will likely make it worse.

When did we decide to unify? And why does it have to be such a dour, introspective process? Can't I do what is important to me and you do what is important to you and we both acknowledge that what we are doing is both connected and variant and understand that we are part of one community while chasing different dreams?

And can't we do it now, without months of blathering about doing it?


Once again breaking the silence...

Since the rest of the theatrical blogosphere is having a collective pow-wow, why not? On theatre and the value of:

As an audience member, I value good theatre no more than I value you good music, good film, good visual art, good dance, good literature, good art. Why? Because I enjoy the product, not the form. I also assume that the value I place on good theatre is no greater than the value that a Cubs fan places on a good game. While appreciative of any Cubs fan who comes to see a show of mine, I in no way wish to replace their baseball with my theatre. My theatre is intended for me and others who will enjoy it or come to appreciate it as I do, not to convert those who live with a different world of values and interests.

As a creator, I work primarily with the stage for a number of reasons. As an actor, it allows me to tear open an instinctual hole and allow bits of me free that don't otherwise see much daylight. Not quite therapy, at it's best it's more of an ear-to-the-ground interconnected primalism thing. Purely in it for the adrenaline. As a director and writer, I choose the stage because I envision productions beyond the horizon of what is currently available in Chicago theatre much more readily than other art forms. I've often thought that I have a musical heart and a cinematic soul, but my mind is theatrical - that is where the ideas lie.

The value I place in theatre as a creator is simply the value I place in my ideas. I'm unapologetically Wilde-ian in my view of art. The community will embrace what the community enjoys. I will embrace what I enjoy. My version of embracing also includes creation. I don't make theatre to express the value of theatre, I make theatre to express the value of what I want to express. The form is merely the means.

Universally speaking, theatre is no more important than any other art form, and I use that in the absolutely loosest sense possible: including not only film and music, but food and politics and sports and business and science and humanitarianism, all of which can transcend at times and devour at others. On the reverse, this also means that theatre is no less important than any of the above.

Why theatre, then? Because it's what I choose. And for anyone else? That choice is theirs.

Also, come see Faster.


Monday, March 3, 2008

As if any eyes are still wandering over here...

Quick update: We open the Midwest premiere of Adam Rapp's Faster this coming weekend. There's a free preview on Friday and opening is Saturday. More details to be found over there (---->) and at

I'm tres, tres excited about this show. It has vaulted to the top of the "Work I'm proudest of since moving to Chicago" list as well as the "Work I'm proudest of. Period." list. We run March 8 - April 6, Thursdays-Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 7 pm. I encourage all Chicago folk to come out to see it. Hell, I encourage all non-Chicago folk to come out and see it. And if you do, stick around after to say hey. I'm a social guy, I swear!

Also, online industry tixx for $10 for any performance through March 23. Just making sure all is aware.