int'l theater

a pair of snogging naked men

She may never have envisaged a starring role in a play alongside a pair of snogging naked men, but I can’t help thinking that she would have had a good chuckle about it all: the good humour, wit and wisdom of her books suggest that she wouldn’t have taken any of this too seriously.

– Alison Flood in the Guardian on “Jane Austen’s Guide to Pornography.” Via AJ.

int'l theater, theater, travel

to the airport

And so, it’s time to travel again – this time with a better suitcase. I think the so-called wisdom of age is only about equipment. I am not any wiser, but I have more tools.

Yesterday was a day of packing and errands and scenes from John Lennon’s music and discovering that the poets are a bunch of unreliable narrators all over again. It is possible to do so many things quickly in Chicago, but sometimes quickly is not well – like my decision to buy an alarm clock that turns out to beep every hour, on the hour. I don’t think I can take it with me. The other people on my ten-hour flight would have something to say about it.

There’s no more time. Maybe that’s what the clock is trying to tell me.

I have just emailed people to let them know that I am traveling, today, to Wroclaw, Poland, to participate as one of the US directors in the US Artists’ Initiative as part of the Grotowski Year 2009. This will involve attending performances in the World As A Place of Truth festival, going to workshops, and learning a lot more about director Jerzy Grotowski’s work and influence. I am one of about 30 US directors who have been invited to participate in this initiative, and to observe. It’s such a great honor for me to have been included with this group of people.

My grandfather left Poland in the 30s to come here, and I am going back – the first of our family to return since then. Those who left, survived, and those who stayed, did not. I will be trying to remember that story while I am traveling, too.

My flight is nonstop Chicago to Warsaw. C is driving me to the airport this afternoon, during which time we’re going to talk Indy Convergence some more – I will have an opportunity to give a short presentation on my work and my affiliated theater company.

I will be trying to blog live from the conference. My cell phone will not work at all, starting today, until I return around July 4th, but I will have some access to email.

There is a window of Chicago directions left on this screen from last night. It’s always funny when you wake up and see maps from yesterday. It reminds me of seeing the Thomas Guide to Los Angeles’s freeways, or some other guidebook to a place I don’t live any more. I close the window.

Here’s to making a new map.

int'l theater, theater

put a naked person on stage

“This is a play about sex made by people who seem to have made it so that they can show it to their parents and grandparents without embarrassment.”

– UK blogger Andrew Haydon weighing in on that “sex choreography” question, in his review of UNBROKEN.

Andrew also pointed SOS to an interesting post by director Chris Goode. Scroll down to get to him talking, in great detail, about sex and staging sex.

My favorite line was this, “I think pretty much the most significant thing theatre can do is put a naked person on stage and let you look at them,” but it’s not fair to quote him out of context. His whole argument is worth looking at – he has a lot to say, and says it from a lot of experience.

As I said in my response to Andrew’s comment, all this talk of staging sex in UK theater makes me desperate to know more about the processes in which all these directors work.

directing, int'l theater


Toby has just finished the intensive German program at Middlebury that I was going to do with her this summer, except I ended up ADing TARTUFFE at OSF. She wants to go to Germany in 08 and work together on a production – we’re thinking Von Kleist’s PENTHESILEA, with an all-transgendered cast.

And, more marvellously, she was in an all-German production, at Middlebury, of Max Frisch’s ANDORRA.

Will wonders never cease?