Friday, January 23, 2009

Chekov post

After our second class, there are two things on my mind that I would like to discuss. Firstly I'd just like to make a brief, broad comment on Aristotle, as I find it far easier to pull things out of his thoughts when I'm discussing them with people, as opposed to sitting here and trying to come up with something clever say say about them. The main impression that I was left with after the Aristotle lecture and discussion was: I felt MANY assertions he made about theatre were, in my opinion, spot on. His opinions on imitation, tragedy, structure and the idea that theatre isn't about men, but about their actions. It was all fascinating. However, I am also left with the strong sense that these are the opinions of one man, brilliant though he was, and though I find all of his ideas compelling I feel the need to remind myself that these are not guidelines, but opinions - valuable, yes, but true?... not necessarily. I also feel very conflicted about defining things. I feel, as I'm sure most of us do, that sitting down and really asking ourselves what good theatre is helped us to realize the kind of the theatre we want to create. I also feel that I could very easily become consumed in definitions and theories and that part of the magic of writing is its initial organicity, its unadulerated nature (which you then go back to a week later and can't believe you thought it was good at the time.) But my point is that, whether or not we chose to share our theatre with others (which I assume most of us do, being in Playwriting 1 and all..) one of the most spellbinding moments is when you just start writing and words are flowing and they actually mean something. I would hate to be so concious of definitions and theories that I couldn't bring myself to write. Anyway. My point. It's a dangerous line and it scares me.

The second thing that I would like to talk about is the Adventure.
It's a joke, right? We put on this blindfold and we walk around a familiar building pretending it's somewhere else with a mysterious narrator at our right ear. I had fun! And I was a zebra and I shook hands with a stranger at the command of my narrator, but at the end of the day, I knew where I was and I felt a little silly and I wasn't really in it, because, for some reason, at childhood we lose the ability to do it and it is so terribly, terribly sad.
And then I thought about this and now I think I lied. I think it's not true. Ok, so maybe I can't make myself believe I'm in Afric-artica when I'm still trying to wrap my head around being in Austin, Texas. But, I CAN do other things. For example, right now I'm listening to music and let me tell you, I'm right there. In our privacy, in our music, in movie theatres, in dance halls, and, yes, of course, in theatres we lose ourselves, find ourselves, and go to the most amazing places.
Let's remember that when it feels like grown-ups can't play in their imaginations.

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