Wednesday, April 29, 2009

But what about the actors and the plays?

So I'm looking over the glossy season brochure for the A.R.T. and trying to decide what it means. And one thing it seems to mean is: no plays. Well, one play, Paradise Lost, by Clifford Odets. And a new musical. And a novel read aloud by hip New Yorkers (The Great Gatsby). And another musical, featuring gospel choirs. What is described as "an immersive experience" that's also like a Hitchcock film inspired by Macbeth, set in "an extraordinary, unexpected location." Oh, and The Donkey Show, a.k.a "the ultimate disco experience."

And uh - how many actors? The Hitchcock Macbeth thing is an import, the gospel choir thing is - well, a gospel choir thing. Maybe they're going to make good old Karen MacDonald go out in a thong and pasties for The Donkey Show, but I hope not. Gatz is an import. Red Sox Nation is another musical. (And only Tommy Derrah really sings.)

Sigh. I can remember when the "R" in A.R.T. stood for "Repertory." Which meant a repertory company. Which meant paid actors, working together as an ensemble.

Now I know I'm just an old stick-in-the mud who doesn't appreciate how new and daring all this is. I like plays, not concepts, I know that. But I'm wondering if they're going to remove the "R" from their name? And just be the A.T.? Because it seems they really should do that. Just to be accurate.

1 comment:

  1. Hello there,

    I stumbled across your blog recently, and I wanted to thank you for writing, so frequently, what I'm thinking when I go to shows in this town.

    I wrote a long rant about the ART, of which I have been a loving subscriber for five years, which I hope you'll check out if you have the chance; aside from Sleep No More, I think we agree on just about everything about the place.

    Anyway, thanks for keeping on keepin' on. I recently closed a show at Playwright's Theatre that I thought of asking you to review, but I was too chicken. I hope, though, that I can lure you out to some of the really little theatre that's happening around here, including Theatre @ First, Post-Meridian Radio Players, and Unreliable Narrator, the company that produced the aforementioned show.

    Thanks again, and I'll keep reading!
    Kamela Dolinova

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