In last week’s talk about theater, Tim Crouch lamented what he saw as theater’s betrayal of its own strengths, its own theatricality. Most pieces, as well as most audience’s expectations, rely heavily on naturalism, costumes, sets, and dialogue that create the illusion that some other part of of the world was surgically cut out of the fabric of its own reality and transported to the 30’X15′ footprint of the stage. Couch’s concern was that film and television will always be able to create the more convincing reality, and that theater would do well to focus on the headier, more existential issues that it’s immediacy is suited for.
I’m torn by this assertion. On the one hand, I’m right there with him believing that naturalistic linear narrative ranks pretty high on the ho-humeter. But while a majority of the shows produced follow that aesthetic, there is a wealth of theater made for those of us who want something else, and much of it is quite good. Continue Reading