On Forgetting Your Lines…

The opening night audience, all a-flutter with anticipation, arrives at what is known as the summation scene of a mystery thriller, the famous detective having cleverly solved what was heretofore a thorny puzzle.    He meticulously lays out the clues and their natural conclusion, the culprit is apprehended, and lights come up, and everyone goes home …

Acting 101: For All of Us

Here’s what actors do, in one way or another.  Imaginatively, they work to enter the experience of a person, a character, imagining circumstances, beliefs, thought-life, sensory preferences, histories of relationships, and perhaps most importantly, what their particular characters are hungry for, long for, and have been living without.   They then shift their physical and emotional …

Humor Abuse: See It at The Seattle Rep

I'm not really a clown kind of guy, but years ago, back in the 80's, I spent a memorable evening of theatre in the presence of one of the best.  Avner the Eccentric, he called himself, and I remember laughing as hard as I have ever laughed that night.  You know the kind of laugh …

Friday Night Lights: Sorry to See You Go…

That football sailing through last-minute skies landing months down the road in the arms of a future worth far more than six points and a ring: a new personal favorite story moment that encapsulates so much of what I loved about Friday Night Lights. I liked the first film, especially (spoilers ahead), the gritty ending. …

George Bernard Shaw and the Fight for Pygmalion

"Don't talk to me of romances; I was sent into the world to dance on them with thick boots--to shatter, stab, and murder them." -- George Bernard Shaw.  (His Collected Letters) The basic facts are these: George Bernard Shaw wrote the play on which the musical My Fair Lady is based  99 years ago, in 1912. …

Thoughts on “My Fair Lady”

[Caveat:  I wrote the following over the weekend before I'd had much a chance to read up on Shaw's take on things.  Now I know more.  Tomorrow I'll return to this theme.  What follows in this post is uninformed and rambly, but I'd still be interested in seeing a production that came at the play …

Improvisation, Freedom, and The Will to be Yourself

"In a self-protection mode, we are not truly free to teach, learn, create, improvise, or love." In going through some old papers the other day, I came across a remarkable little article by Dennis B. Plies, a professor of music at Warner Pacific College, in which Professor Plies addresses improvisation.  The title of the article …