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Nitro


Member

Posted Thu Feb 19th, 2009 4:52am Post subject: A little discussion about plays(non-musicals)
Finally, finally, finally all my long weeks of internal conversations, visions, and ideas have coalesced to something with enough substance to mainuplate now. It's a minor breakthrough, but an important one. I am currently fleshing out each of the characters and the environment they will be moving in are already in my head and now have been typed out. I imagine it will take another few months of work before it's ready for casting calls. Fortunately, I have a freind who graduate with a Drama major and so I have a built in reader for now.

While there are moments of laughable absurdity in the plays story, overall it is drama in various levels.

Really? Wow.

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PamJH


Member

Posted Thu Feb 19th, 2009 5:30am Post subject: A little discussion about plays(non-musicals)
Excellent news.

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j9r


Member

Posted Wed Feb 25th, 2009 2:44am Post subject: A little discussion about plays(non-musicals)
Several years ago my local theater group did an original play called "The Death of Meyerhold", I was the props mistress on in. It went over so well that it brought in enough money for the company to expand and have their own theater rather than renting spaces.

Here is the link to the play. http://209.85.173.132/search?q=cache:UHzzhzY1n-gJ:.....=firefox-a

Meyerhold was an Russian director during and after the revolution who went from the top to the very bottom under Soviet rule. It is abstract and yet very accessible. I was completely blown away when I read the script the first time. So often when I am given new plays I read them cringing, I read this twice thinking can it be this good.

I could go on and on about favorite plays, in which genre, going back to the greeks and The Frogs, or theater of the obsurd and Rhinoseros, to drawing room comedies and The Importance of Being Earnest. So much to choose from, can't ever pick one, cause it changes with my mood.

---j

"I'm from New Jersey, if the world ended today, I'd adjust" - John Gorka

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Nitro


Member

Posted Wed Feb 25th, 2009 4:39am Post subject: A little discussion about plays(non-musicals)
j9er, I would love it if you 'went on and on' about plays. Please do and don't hold back!! This is a discussion of like minds, even if the minds have different tastes. That's a good thing as well I think. Thank you also for the link. I'm going to go have a look at it.

Really? Wow.

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j9r


Member

Posted Thu Feb 26th, 2009 6:22am Post subject: A little discussion about plays(non-musicals)
Having worked in and around theater for 25 years, I know what I like. Plays must be accessible, if it gets too edgy I close my mind. Mostly it is plays that make you think about the gray areas in life. Years ago I saw a play on Broadway called "Good" by C.P. Taylor http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cecil_Philip_Taylor

The basis of the play is the small steps a German college professor takes to survive in Nazi Germany that turn him into one of the SS in a concentration camp. The play has been called pro-nazi by some who think it is condoning the actions of the SS, when in reality it is questioning humanity itself. It doesn't have to be the Nazi, it could be any person in any oppressive society. Where do you draw the lines for your own survival and that of your family. You see what happens to those who question, and what happens to those who go along.

It is in the theater that something like this can be discussed and laid before you to think about. It's not an answer it is just the question. Unlike film where the viewer is distant from the work, in the theater the viewer is part of the show. The audiences is always another player on the stage. Their reactions control the play as much as an actors.

But on a happier note, one of the best nights in the theater I every had was seeing Private Lives on Broadway with Alan Rickman. The opening, a set that got it's own round of applause before the actors even walked on stage. Forced perspective of a series of balconies in an Art Deco style then it floated forward 10 ft passed the arch. Then Alan Rickman walks onto his balcony in a tux carrying a martini, and the fun began. Noel Coward knows how to use words. Just pure joy.

I love the theater because they did the show 100+ times, but that evening w/ me there was never the same as any other night.

---j

"I'm from New Jersey, if the world ended today, I'd adjust" - John Gorka

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PamJH


Member

Posted Thu Feb 26th, 2009 2:20pm Post subject: A little discussion about plays(non-musicals)


But on a happier note, one of the best nights in the theater I every had was seeing Private Lives on Broadway with Alan Rickman. The opening, a set that got it's own round of applause before the actors even walked on stage. Forced perspective of a series of balconies in an Art Deco style then it floated forward 10 ft passed the arch. Then Alan Rickman walks onto his balcony in a tux carrying a martini, and the fun began. Noel Coward knows how to use words. Just pure joy.

I love the theater because they did the show 100+ times, but that evening w/ me there was never the same as any other night.

I love that play. I toyed with the idea of trying to score tickets but when I saw them going on eBay for more than $200 I knew it was a pipe dream. I read that the sets were simply spectacular and how well did they choreograph the fight scene?

Our local theatre troupe staged the play and they did well enough, but the two leads spent almost all their time smirking at each other even when they were arguing. They did however, do a wonderful job of costuming which can be expensive if you really want opulent period clothing.

I just realized I lent my copy of the play to a friend. Now I need to get it back so I can read it again.

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j9r


Member

Posted Thu Feb 26th, 2009 9:22pm Post subject: A little discussion about plays(non-musicals)

I love that play. I toyed with the idea of trying to score tickets but when I saw them going on eBay for more than $200 I knew it was a pipe dream. I read that the sets were simply spectacular and how well did they choreograph the fight scene?


I actually bought a ticket day of show, rather than going to the Tickets office, I went directly to the theater box office and got two tickets, they were full price, it was the end of the run. But I didn't have to stand in the really annoying long line. That weekend I saw 5 plays in 3 days and did have a single ticket purchased before I got there. NY is good for that.

The show was as good as billed. Alan Rickman is perfect for Noel Coward. He voice works so well for the biting wit. The director had the light touch necessary, the words say it all. All the entrences and exits were timed just right.

---j

"I'm from New Jersey, if the world ended today, I'd adjust" - John Gorka

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PamJH


Member

Posted Thu Feb 26th, 2009 10:39pm Post subject: A little discussion about plays(non-musicals)

I actually bought a ticket day of show, rather than going to the Tickets office, I went directly to the theater box office and got two tickets, they were full price, it was the end of the run. But I didn't have to stand in the really annoying long line. That weekend I saw 5 plays in 3 days and did have a single ticket purchased before I got there. NY is good for that.

The show was as good as billed. Alan Rickman is perfect for Noel Coward. He voice works so well for the biting wit. The director had the light touch necessary, the words say it all. All the entrences and exits were timed just right.

I wish these plays would be filmed somehow for everyone to enjoy. I wouldn't mind paying a little fee and getting it by video stream or some other way. Many of us will never have a chance to see such a wonderful broadway production.

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Nitro


Member

Posted Wed Mar 4th, 2009 4:49am Post subject: A little discussion about plays(non-musicals)
I only recently moved into this area and while driving home today, noticed a local theater group advertising on a billboard. It was a pretty busy road so I may go to see how well that's worked for them ( kind of judging on the audience turn out I mean ).

I'm continuing my fumbling attempts at writing and have an actor friend coming down this weekend to read through some of it for me. Hopefully it won't be a horrible experience for her.

Really? Wow.

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PamJH


Member

Posted Wed Mar 4th, 2009 5:38am Post subject: A little discussion about plays(non-musicals)
I only recently moved into this area and while driving home today, noticed a local theater group advertising on a billboard. It was a pretty busy road so I may go to see how well that's worked for them ( kind of judging on the audience turn out I mean ).

I'm continuing my fumbling attempts at writing and have an actor friend coming down this weekend to read through some of it for me. Hopefully it won't be a horrible experience for her.

Hey, good luck with that.

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Nitro


Member

Posted Thu Mar 5th, 2009 4:31am Post subject: A little discussion about plays(non-musicals)
Yep, thanks Pam. Might catch the play at matine time this weekend.

Really? Wow.

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Ruffian


Member

Posted Sun Mar 22nd, 2009 3:37am Post subject: A little discussion about plays(non-musicals)
A bit of a thread resurrection here...

I am very lucky in the fact that I live in a theater town, and the matter of my favourite play gets to change season to season. Last summer we had Christopher Plummer playing Caesar in Shaw's Caesar and Cleopatra, and it was a spectacular performance. The high def recording of it looks really promising as well and I'm glad they did it.

The sleeper hit for me last season was a highly interpretive rendition of Moby Dick which was at one of the small stages here in Stratford (that's Ontario folks). The whole thing was communicated via movement and dance from the actors and sound, music, and readings of Melville's original text piped in over the loudspeakers. I was absolutely stunned by it. Of course, I heard that a lot of people hated it, and I can see why. But that's why the Festival runs musicals as well.

Plays that stick out in my mind as all time favourites:

Hamlet (I had an excellent teacher for this back in high school, so it's stuck with me)

The Blond, The Brunette, and the Vengeful Redhead (a one woman show where said actress plays about five different women, a middle aged man, and a small boy).

The Letter From Wingfield Farm series, which is six separate plays now I believe. A one man show written by a local, Dan Needles, and performed by a local actor, Rod Beattie. The series is just a lot of fun, especially if one was raised in the area and can recognize the archetypes. And they're still accessible to the rest of the world. I introduced a friend from Seoul to 'local culture' by taking her to one of the shows... I think it has it's own page on wiki now. *checks* Yes, it does.

Anyways... Things I'm looking forward to this season: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Macbeth, Ever Yours Oscar, and The Importance of Being Earnest.

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CornishPixie


Member

Posted Mon Apr 6th, 2009 5:33pm Post subject: A little discussion about plays(non-musicals)
I am not often gifted with the opportunity to see plays rather than musicals (recording King Lear with Ian McKellen off PBS doesn't -quite- count) but out of the few that I have been fortunate enough to see, "A Moon for the Misbegotten" by Eugene O'Neill when I was... oh, 14 years old? Our theater group put it on one summer, and I found myself fascinated by it, especially the character of Josie. Later on in high school. while taking theater as an elective, I was able to perform a short scene from the same play with a friend, and we blew Mr. Perriot away.

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CollectorManiac


Member

Posted Tue May 26th, 2009 12:01am Post subject: A little discussion about plays(non-musicals)
Oo I love a good play, and ineviatably look out of place whenever I visit the theatre, but that's become half the joy
But my absolute favourite play has to be Single Spies by Alan Bennett, which is actually two plays, A Question of Attribution and An Englishman Abroad.
http://www.complete-review.com/reviews/bennetta/qattrib.htm
When I saw it, Nigel Havers was taking the starring role, an added bonus, with Diana Quick along side him, and both were utterly fantastic.
It's clever, it's witty, it's completely hilarious, one of the funniest things I've seen on stage, and is clearly political without being blatant or shoving Bennett's own ideology down your throat, something he's always been brilliant at.
Even the set was impressive, for An Englishman Abroad, which focuses on an actresses encounter with exiled English spy, Guy Burgess, there was a glass panelled room placed in the middle of the stage, that almost folded out after the two opening monologues to reveal a cluttered dingey Moscow flat.
Plus, any play that warrants Nigel Havers playing and singing the Eton Boating Song has got to be good for a laugh
People always point to The History Boys as Bennett's shining hour, but personally I've always preferred his shorts and more politically minded plays.
Definitely worth a look if it happens to come round again, or at the very least a read or a listen, very witty stuff, in true Bennett form
Play rant, over

P.S. CornishPixie: Gorgeous picture of the wonderful Juliet Landeau btw

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