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Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Hothouse


Just got back from the Pinter Play, the Hothouse, by the Lantern Theatre Company. It was very good to see some of our favorite actors again, Peter Nolan, Peter Pryor, and Luigi Sottile. As always, they give good show, though Lush could have been a bit sleazier, he certainly was menacing. Peter Nolan was extraordinary and I haven't seen him since Richard III. At one point when he was frozen (staging) he was staring at us for 10 minutes straight, it was unnerving because I never caught him blinking. It was hard at that point to focus on the action between Kristyn Chouinere and Mike Dees, but I gave it my best shot. Note to director Kathryn MacMillian, make him stare at the floor, or warn the audience on stage right. There was an actor making his debut this season, Mike Dees, he gave an engaging performance, "Certainly not un-engaging," I am sure we will see him again. Peter Pryor is always impressive, his facial expressions tell the whole story. This was the second time, I believe, that I saw Kristyn Chouiniere, her movements are so deliberate and natural at the same time. You simply can't look away when she is present. As far as interacting with the audience, there was none as there always is in the Shakespeare performances. I was expecting some interaction based on reviews, but the staring was perhaps enough. The scenery was a departure from the stripped down sets I am accustomed to at this theatre company, the different seating arraignment was invigorating and it was a great use of theatre space. During intermission, I was set upon in the restroom by a theatergoer unfamiliar with Pinter. She was demanding answers about what the play was about. I don't think I gave her satisfaction, after all I don't look through her lens. I simply answered, "Who's Crazy? Unfortunately, the absurdity of the "Rest Home" reminded me of my last position of employment. Pinter does understand the psyche of "institutions."

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

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Monday, September 1, 2008

The American Dream




The American Dream

I was inspired as I watched the interactive art zoetrope by Peter Hudson on the TV Free Burning Man site this morning. "Tantalus" so completely summed up what many Americans are feeling about their country. It was an eerie display of torsos and arms reaching for golden apples dangling enticingly out of reach. I wonder if we are the only nation that feels this way. I mean, we never hear about the Italian Dream or the Bulgarian Dream, do we? If we Google it, we actually have a wikipedia entry for the American Dream, while other countries do not. Go ahead and try it, I did. It was the theme of this year's gathering in the Black Rock Desert and Peter's deliberate use of only part of our Star Spangled Banner pushes the reality of unfinished business to a place where we cannot ignore it.

Hudson brought up good questions in his interview, what exactly is the American dream anymore? I know my vision may not match my neighbors, because of my religion, political leanings, age bracket, sex, and economic status. Is there just one dream we all share, is it simply freedom or is it something else? Is it possible that as we grow larger and more diverse that this utopia can never be achieved or maintained for a reasonable period of time? Do smaller groups that share a common ideal ever achieve their vision? I guess the Burning Man group might be able to answer that. Hudson's fantasy of people "experiencing each other" after his second trip to Burning Man may compete with someone else's mission to seek out budding artists for capital gain. The zoetrope that Peter created is made up of many arms reaching for many apples, some are closer to realization than others, and no two appear alike. Makes you think...

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