I saw a great show with Phil C last night – the Evidence Room/Unknown Theater co-production of Martin Crimp’s* ATTEMPTS ON HER LIFE. Seventeen scenes in different styles, textures, and voices, all about one woman – Anne. Brilliant. And there were quite a number of choral elements in it, too. The two companies’ ADs co-directed it, alternating and switching off scenes, which is what I had wanted to try with a different show. So glad to see it working.
AOHL doesn’t have stage directions or divisions of text. I heard someone mention a production where all the actors learned all the lines, which is what I still want to do with choruses.
Every time I see one of Bart’s productions it makes me want to direct the play one day. Which I mean as a compliment to him. Often I see theater and it leaves me sick of the play, tired of it, never wanting to think of it again. Bart’s work makes the play seem like the most wonderful thing ever. Like there could be so many new discoveries in it.
Phil & I went to Cosmic Pizza after and discussed. I’m still spinning from the thoughts of the show. I wish I could see it again, but I leave Thursday.
Then, later, at the Silver Spoon with Ezra, this came up: has the presence of directors in theater actually removed some of the actors’ natural ability to self-direct? And who “needs” directors more – actors who naturally hold back, or who are naturally over the top?
Would it be a good thing for all actors to be in a production without a director? To try that? What would that mean?
*The very first show I worked on it LA was Martin Crimp’s DEALING WITH CLAIR, at the Matrix. I ran box office. Funny how these things come together – this Crimp will be one of the last shows I see in LA, for quite some time.