Thursday’s brought a trio of great new notices, worth sharing, comparing, and adding your own voice to. We start with Broadway World.com
And follow it up with The Washington City Paper
And the wonderful review in Washington Jewish Week that, surprisingly, takes an unexpected turn in the last sentence. Wonder what you think about Lisa Traiger’s final advisory.
This is also the place to officially welcome 16 students from University of Michigan, University of California at Berkeley and Merced, and Notre Dame University; all under-grads residing here in DC for the semester enjoying internships by day on Capital Hill, taking 3 or so classes at night, and one of the electives is my “A Theater of Politics & The Politics of Theater” course. This semester, as in years previous, all enrolled students will become subscribers to Theater J and see everything we’re offering over the next 15 weeks. Look for students blogs on readings and productions. And look for connections being made between what we’re producing, and what we’re seeing produced on other area stages. The triangular focus of the course this semester locates three dominant themes:
I. STAGING WAR: IMPACT AND AFTERMATH
II. STRATEGIES IN ADAPTATION
III. THE ETHICS AND EXIGENCIES OF THE ARTIST
Clearly, Annie Baker’s play BODY AWARENESS finds its resonance to our course focus in this third category, as we look most closely on the dilemmas posed by the character of Frank and the fierce resistance to the work as evinced by Phyllis. Joyce is caught (as she is for much of the play about a great many subjects) between Frank and Phyllis’ conflicting visions of what makes for healthy art. I’m eager to hear people’s take on Phyllis’ fiery critique of Frank’s unseen work (unseen by us, that is).
Some audiences really take to Frank. They find utterly comfortable with himself; in contrast to Phyllis. They appreciate his real-world reconciliation with contradiction. Whereas a minority of others feel Frank remains “a sleaze-ball.” That’s what makes a horse race.
Students will be writing for a general readership here. Our general readership should feel free to chime in — we’ll keep formal corrections of spelling and the like off the table for a bit — unless we see that there’s really a need to focus attention on some basics. For now, given the early comments for a few extra credit postings covering Theater J offerings this past weekend, we’re off to a good start.
A few pointers and notes of encouragement. We like appreciative comments. But we don’t feel the need to ONLY read supportive comments from students. Constructive, supportive, humble, insightful criticism can be broached here.
We’ll also put an emphasis on postings not repeating observations and language used earlier. He or she who posts early has less of a burden of being original!
Again, this is a format whereby students–now Theater J subscribers–are being welcomed into our adult conversations about the work. We don’t see this as students taking over the discourse. We see this as a joining of the conversation. So adults, let’s hold up our end and respond! Let’s add our own voices and impressions about the work we’re seeing. And respond to the postings as we are inspired.