THE SEVENTEENTH CHALLENGE

WRITE SOMETHING BORING that is THEATRICALLY COMPELLING

(subject matter boring, but tons of inherent theatricality)

Due 11.18.18 by 7am


Inherent theatricality- not exciting narrative.

But nah bro, like really boring- MORE boring than that. MORE! MOOOREE!

Instant death

People need to experience a sense of dread four sentences in and be squirming in their seats before the second minute has ticked over.


Then add inherent theatricality.

What we’re doing here is making a unique and powerful energy you can slam into the exposition or dream sequence of any play where you need to get INFORMATION OUT


True to theme… I will now subject you to my ...inherent ramblings.


Grumble harumph burp

So the new crop of theater professionals aka “those damn kids” are the first to have witnessed like 1,000 hours of stage time compared to… ??100,000?? hours of screen time- experiencing narratives that take place between commercial breaks, exist in the service of Marvel brawls, never had an author (reality tv), etc.

1:1000 ratio


As a result- or probably it was always so- I find that nobody knows really WHAT theater is. They know like… where to find it if you’re looking for it. Like chocolate or pornography we know when it’s good or bad but we’ve been rather terrible at talking about why.

THERE IS NO BETTER DEFINITION OF THEATER

(fuck Aristotle… jk i love him but i’ll fight you to do death about the below as the best and most definitive definition of theater ever written)

http://theatricalaesthete.tumblr.com/post/46510008534/follow-up-to-the-boring-theatrical-post

The definitive definition: Theater is the interaction that occurs when one or more living beings defy a physical, social, or moral expectation inherent or established within a live, collective audience (theatrical) engaged in a shared/empathetic concern (drama). - source: Aaron Sawyer’s headbrain

Note that I separate dramatic concern with theatrical energy. You’ve totally been at a play where you know the narrative arc WANTS you to care about Jack Jackson the Jacksonville King of Jacks, but holy bejeebus you do not.


It turns out theatrical energy thrives inside the expectation current caused by dramatic narrative, but (like at a circus) doesn’t require it. And it can be completely absent like when a politician tells a tear-jerker about some wronged citizen his politics will fix.


When the two are intertwined, you find yourself at a play.

Types of potential theatrical energy: (My personal definitive list- are these outlined anywhere else either?)

Physical: unsustainable action (blowing air into a balloon, holding one’s breath); a break in repetition (ba-dum, ching!); acrobatic (dance, contortion, abnormalities); violence; illogical; or the breaking from these things.

Social: bigotry; base acts (nudity, body functions); insubordinance (familial, spiritual, or political); or breaking from these things.

Moral: cruelty; perversion; pornography; and blasphemy; or breaking from these things.


So to reiterate: SEVENTEENTH CHALLENGE: WRITE SOMETHING BORING that is THEATRICALLY COMPELLING

(subject matter boring, but tons of inherent theatricality)



BONUS ASIDE

When theater was at its most powerful, a few people wrote and read. I sometimes read things that act like LOTS of people were reading when Shakespeare was alive (and comparably so!) but like… not even close to a majority at his death in 1616. Words and facts and science like we know it are not necessary ingredients for what makes great theater.

england literacy rate.png