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January 16, 2009


Chance D. Muehleck

Well put. And it's the independent theatre that continues to make the most of its resources. Broadway is far more two-dimensional than most of the movies I saw last year.

Amy Friedman

Love this post; I never participate here, though I'm often moved by what people have to say, but love this idea of making an audience sit forward. Now, as someone trying to finish (year 7) my third memoir, how does the idea apply? Any thoughts from out there?

Ed Valentine

Hi, Amy! Thanks for writing back. Am I right in understanding you've written two memoirs already? Wow, I'm impressed, whether or not you decide to finish the third.

I think it's harder to make an audience 'sit forward' with a book... but I think the same rules apply. I mean, why do we go to other people's art/fiction/theater, anyway? I think it's because we want a human connection, and we respond when we feel an artist imparting his or her own self directly to us, through the artwork.

So if you're focusing on communicating as honestly and directly as you can through your words, then you're probably already adept at making your reader rise to join you as they share in your work. Sound reasonable?

Ed Valentine

Hiya, Chance! As you know, I am often susceptible to Broadway's charms (Jazz Hands!).

But it is a joy of its own to know that I'm going downtown to see, say, a play about Hannibal crossing the alps... and to know that the company can't afford life-size alps or actual elephants. (It's what Jonathan Goldberg and I often talk about: the Hannibal Test.) I find myself thinking, how the heck will they do the elephants? How will they make the alps?

It's so exciting to see artists come up with theatrical solutions to budgetary problems. Erik Ehn calls it "Theater of the Impossible," and I'm smitten with that phrase and that idea. Put the impossible onstage and make it real (even 'realer' than realism). It doesn't take a lot of dough - just a lot of imagination.

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