THE THIRD CHALLENGE: Say goodnight to the stars.

Due 11/4 @ 7am cst

Tonight, there will be a modern rain dance. Convert it for a time and place that is personal to you- and therefore (odds are) it does not involve indigenous Americans. There must be a sacrifice. It may or may not “rain.” Someone unexpected will die and this spurs the play’s last action- saying goodnight to the stars.

A snapshot from the original Red Theater collective

A snapshot from the original Red Theater collective


Background: Red Theater got its start by breaking down student performances- and the problems they were having in talking about each other’s works.

First, we forbid moral notes.

A play couldn’t be bad because it… idk burned a Bible or espoused racist or misogynistic beliefs, or idk bad things, right? But that’s not what we talked about. Condemnation is for clergy; we were interested in making theater not propagandic platitudes. I’d grown up in a not-so-distant time and not-so-far-away place where plays showing homosexuals or saying the LORD’S NAME IN VAIN were also criticized of being immoral and not worthy of the stage. I was tired of these notes. They were often a side distraction. They didn’t make the theater better. They felt irrelevant.

 How could Red company members give notes?

 A. Personal- how does the play capture something unique and personal about the human experience- how well does the performer own the material- how does the play make me feel MORE aware of myself DURING the performance than I did before it began. (not after contemplation later)

 B. Theatrical- how does the play participate in “inherently theatrical actions”- what things couldn’t I take my eyes off of- what actions created imbalance or provoked a feeling for the need for change.

Ultimately this is because all theater (before the church’s perversion of theater into morality tales)- ALL THEATER- sprung from one of two sources.

1.     Campfire stories (personal) are about us. How we came to be who we are. How are we different from others? What are our mistakes and triumphs? It evokes a sense of awe and humility for our ANCESTORS- and projects into the future a sense that we will someday also be spoken of (good or bad) at the fire. It’s about a desire for control

2.    Rain dances (theatrical) live in the NOW trying to provoke or woo the gods to change the course of nature- to save us from ourselves. An appeal for justice or forgiveness from a higher power. Sacrifice. Weaponry. Evokes a sense of conflict with humankind’s place in the universe. It’s about a desire for chaos.

 Tonight, make modern rain dance.