Wednesday, November 28, 2007

total indifference and other great traits

Struggling through Hans-Thies Lehmann's Postdramatic Theatre. Alternately crystal clear and baffling, often within a single paragraph. Reading along, nodding my head and then stuck staring at a string of words for thirty seconds, trying to figure out which one of them is the verb. Love this bit, where he's talking about the historic shift away from drama and towards theater, sometime in the early 20th century:

The French director Antoine Vitez, someone who stages classical texts with sparse and functional theatrical means, knew what he was talking about when he said that since the end of the nineteenth century all great works written for the theater were marked by a 'total indifference' towards the problems their texture posed for scenic realization.

I know some of those writers. Used to piss me off, but mon ami Antoine has a good point. Writers should just write and leave it to the directors and designers to figure the rest of it out.

Meeting with Eric Sanders today, he wrote Ixomia which just played at the Crown Point Festival. He demonstrated absolute, total indifference to the staging and design when he wrote it. I read it, loved it, told him "I have no idea what to do with this." The production at the festival worked, his director and design team solved a lot of it. Might be another way to do it, but without having seen an attempt, I would still be clue-free.

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