When it comes to activist theatre (if not all theatre) clearly there is a problem of distribution. How can the performance reach enough people to have any kind of effect? Thus, I was intrigued by this video of a piece by L.M. Bogad, which is not only used to expand the audience, but also acts as a step-by-step guide for doing similar action. It would be interesting to know if anyone has followed its example...I mean if it worked for flash mobs...
with apologies to Howard Barker.
1. You are probably making theatre for the wrong reasons.
2. Few people go to the theatre to have a bad time and be improved. How will you target them in your marketing?
3. Poetry may make nothing happen but it lacks theatre’s social aspect.
4. Shared light is spooky, because look how hard you are working and how still the audience is.
5. The banks have gotten pretty chummy recently, haven’t they?
6. Evolutionarily, it may not be in your interests to be happy.
7. Nihilism in the elderly is disconcerting, isn’t it?
8. Truth in the theatre is quite hard to define.
9. All that junk food is altering your perception of things.
10. When the actors are having a bad time, comfort them by calling out things like “its ok! None of it is really happening!”
11. Try getting up there and helping out. See what they do.
12. Discussion of Facebook will not, in itself, make the work avant-garde.
13. All this coffee is making you edgy. Have you added up what it costs you in a week?
14. Lists can be written more quickly than novels.
15. If you want to watch people bored at work, there are fast food places where you can do it for free.
16. It is more about the asking of questions than about being so presumptuous as to proffer answers, wouldn't you say?
17. You will see all these things differently in a few years.
18. The news media in this country is very emotionally invested.
19. We are doomed with or without your scholarly concern. Stop reading those depressing books and go outside, its sunny.
We were sarcastic to babies. We left jellyfish on the beach access steps, we wrapped a piece of dry ice in bread and fed it to a seagull, we crucified tuataras by the tracks in national parks. We thought our deodorant would get us laid by two girls at once- we weren’t even half right. We amputated the wrong limb- we had been drinking. We saw Jermaine in Patel’s and acted like he was our friend. We mouthed the national anthem, we pissed on the field. We paid her $150,000 on the quiet, which is almost $40,000 per vertebrae and not a bad hourly rate. We needed constant distraction, a soundtrack, we had to be occupied all the time, we hated gaps, we had no attention span, we were never satisfied doing one thing at a time. We laughed at three legged dogs and sometimes we'd make them jump for food. We went around pouring raro into people's hot water cylinders. We declared war on God when we knew he was omnipotent. We sold pictures of the tumour to Woman’s Day. We hosted breakfast television; we were naked from the waist down. We knew 9/11 was going to happen and we could have warned people but our bed was warm and we didn’t have money on our phones. We rewrote Shakespeare with happy endings. We changed our relationship status to “it’s pointless.” We did our calculations in imperial instead of metric, four astronauts were asphyxiated. We tried to kill ourselves but messed it up, so we did the research and wrote a book called SUICIDE FOR DUMMIES- it was a bestseller, life got better. We put your toothbrush where the sun don’t shine. We put pornographic Harry potter slash fiction in the children’s library. We wrote fucking disgusting things with your magnetic poetry. We joined causes on Facebook. Our ipods were full of pirated NZ music. We couldn’t keep conversations going, we found it difficult to read between the lines, we were borderline all sorts of things. We wore bangles to indicate to the boys what we were willing to do- green meant oral, blue was for with a condom, red without- we turned our collars down to show him we were up for it. We were small fish in a tiny pond. We’re guilty of static, of white noise, polystyrene packaging and bubble wrap, we put the huge amount of junk information in your DNA. We got into the stranger’s car- the offer was just too good. We cried when people died in movies because we couldn’t help thinking it could be you. We got our gum caught in your pubic hair. We wore Che Guevara T-shirts. We misplaced parts of the infant’s body, we buried her incomplete. We yelled at cicadas. We knew where Carmen San Diego was all along.
A selection from in-rehearsal explorations of Speak Bitterness in 2008. Written by Rachel, Claire, Simon, Ralph and Joel, after Forced Entertainment. Continues- click "read more".
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