Thursday, July 5, 2012

CRITICISM: I Didn't Like It So Do We Need It?

In the same vein as Charles Isherwood wanting to get rid of direct address because it often doesn't work, now we can add to that genre John M Morrison wanting to banish set designers to an island in the sea.

To be fair, in both cases the titles say "Don't Do It!" but the articles say "I'm sick of seeing this done badly". Still and all, it would be more helpful to look at guidelines of what makes some cases work and others not work, rather than to despair.

Still, this appears to be how you get published in major publications, so, here's my submission to this month's Village Voice:

IS ALL THIS ACTING RUINING OUR PLAYS?

You know exactly what I mean. You're sitting in a theater, and out walks an actor, and the moment they open their mouths, you slump deep into your seat. It's another bad actor. Where do these directors find these over-articulating, over-gesticulating performers? And why are they powerless to make them stop?

All of which makes me wonder -- do we need actors anymore?

After all, if reality television has proven anything, it's that you don't need a trained MFA to "Speak the speech." And it's not just the low-brow -- Richard Foreman has proven that with a strong enough director, you can create whatever you want to with performers who are not performers.

After all, the use of "Actors" in theater really only dates back a few hundred years. Before that, anyone could join in and perform....

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