Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I'll take "Generic for 100, Alex"

So just got forwarded a play submission opportunity, where the first thing on the Theatre Company's application page is "Check out our mission statement. Make sure you get what we are all about!"

This is the mission statement:
[Theatre Company] is an empowerment to both audience and artist, fostering artistic growth and opening new avenues for creativity and full self-expression. [Theatre Company] brings the conversation directly to the audience; engaging them and creating an environment where powerful ideas flourish, leaving all enlivened and inspired.

So... I should submit a play, then?

Monday, December 21, 2009

No Smoking On Stage in Colorado

Colorado has concluded that its ban on smoking in public areas extends to its theaters and the people acting in them. Link from Extra Criticum.

This is highly annoying to me. I don't smoke myself, though I have smoked onstage (back when I was acting, in a college production of Harold Pinter's One for the Road, where I tortured someone with a cigarette). A number of my characters in the plays I write smoke. I hate seeing fake smoking.

Tom Robbins has a wonderful section in Still Life With Woodpecker about smoking:
Three of the four elements are shared by all creatures, but fire was a gift to humans alone. Smoking cigarettes is as intimate as we can become with fire without immediate excruciation. Every smoker is an embodiment of Prometheus, stealing fire from the gods and bringing it on back home. We smoke to capture the power of the sun, to pacify Hell, to identify with the primordial spark, to feed on the marrow of the volcano. It's not the tobacco we're after but the fire. When we smoke, we are performing a version of the fire dance, a ritual as ancient as lightning.
You just can't get that with fake cigarettes.

I have for some time wanted to have an evening of short plays where smoking is the point: get a fire marshall to stand by with an extinguisher for the night. Just need to find a theater where that could happen. Maybe just do it outdoors next Summer.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Write Your Own Play

I'm firmly of the opinion that if you don't like a play, either because of politics, style, or if it just doesn't work, the best response is to write a better play.

I wrote my upcoming The Empress of Sex after being inspired by the awfulness of the book of Triumph of Love...

Recently I saw and reviewed The Gayest Christmas Pageant Ever!; there were many things about the play I didn't like, but what was perhaps the most frustrating were the great ideas that they let slip by- they took the idea of having two Queer shepherds seeing an angel and witnessing the birth of Jesus, and instead of saying something interesting which might have illuminated the relationship of homosexuality to religion, the playwright chose to make a Bareback Brokeback Mountain joke (which consisted of the phrase "I Wish I Knew How to Quit You" and ridiculous stripper-cowboy costumes).

SO, I'm taking the idea they abandoned and writing my own Nativity play, called Pleased as Man with Man to Dwell, after one of my favorite lines from "Hark, The Herald Angels Sing".