Monday, September 8, 2008

A Start

For the past few days, weeks, months, I have been trying so hard to formulate what would make a good essay to describe my opinions and where I am coming from theatrically, creating a personal opening statement for me here at the blog. I thought it necessary to put out what I want, specifically, from our theater community as a sort of grounding thesis. But no such luck. When thinking of such difficult subject matter, my thoughts would scatter, leaving me unable to articulate things that were, and are, indeed in my head, yet suddenly unable to be formulated into some articulate dialogue of sorts; I was frustrated, for I was certain I had strong and coherent viewpoints while debating in my Theater History course this whole past year that, apparently, I was incapable of hanging on to.

In my time this summer away from intense and enlightening lectures from Professor Hughes, drunken Oscar Brockett reading, and wide-eyed late-night revolutionary talk spawned from reading the likes of Victor Hugo and the infamous Antonin Artaud, had I slipped my way down into the dregs of the ever-generalizing Post-Modernism, where self consciousness and a blatant disregard for gestalt rules all? I had come, as my Theater History course came to a close, to hold “Post-Modernism” in revulsion because I saw it as the lazy choice at a critical moment in the history of theater; Theater was growing, expanding its bounds, and so instead of remaining specific and being responsible for this highest of arts (as Artaud states in his The Theatre and Its Double), the theater world at large - particularly here in America, the King of Capitalism - somehow cracked and flooded with – literally – absolutely anything.

This morning, my consciousness shook me, reminded me that I am not creating this forum out of fear of being or becoming “Post-Modern”, but that I am upset and offended at the theory (or lack thereof) behind Post-Modernism. I do not think it is fair to lump the likes of Caryl Churchill, John Jesurun, Richard Foreman, and Robert Wilson (among all other practicing artists) into the same category – two of these individuals mentioned are bending back their bow, arching that arrow through the air with such diligence, care, and awareness toward an achievement greater than the confines of just the box in which their art is presented, that I cannot begin to fathom how the others seem to lack even suspicion as to what it is they clumsily clutch in their over-sized and under-achieving hands.

I want change – Growth – in the art of Theater, and to achieve this evolution I do not think coming outright with some outlandish, potentially asinine theory is the answer – that would be me succumbing to the need to be portentous that I see so much within Post-Modernism. Healthy Growth is gradual, and successful Revolution comes from strong ideas fueled by passion and a need to consistently know more about who we are, where we come from, and what is happening around us. So as of now, I have no “answers”, per se, but I know what I’ve seen, of which all I feel passionately about, some conforming very nicely to the non-conformity of Post-Modernism, earning more credit than they deserve, and others that are… hmm… something else, deserving far more credit than they earn.

1 comment:

Kaila said...

Well put, Collin. I agree that while we strive and often achieve commendable specificity in our personal work; the theater world as a whole has lost the focus it needs to remain pertinent in this increasingly generic Post-Modern age.

I look forward to future posts, and enjoyed Kaitlin's first contribution very much as well.