Talk-back revolution and sexy horses

9 Dec

Well, our Trojan Barbie readings went really beautifully. I was so happy to work with Jayne Wenger as director, who brought an iron hand and a clear sense of style to the play. She is also a great collaborator so we could groove in the room… Trojan Barbie only works when its distinct registers of speech and style clash together and Jayne brought the necessary formality and structure to the performance. Our audiences loved it and our Cassandra’s sexy “horse” monologue will remain in many undercover fantasies, I’m guessing!!! Who knew how many young women wanted to declare bestial passion on stage (and how many men wanted to watch it)?

On a less frivolous note— we had a tiny revolution and blew off the obligatory post-play “talk back”. I detest them–they drag the theatre experience into the classroom and contribute to the fallacious idea that New Plays are a (dreary and medicinal) genre. So instead, I talked a bit first about style and what I was going for, then we invited our audience to join us in the Exit Theatre cafe for a glass of wine afterwards—to schmooze, chat, talk about the play, or the weather… to behave like actual people out for a theatre evening and to socialize. It was so great!!! Everyone who WANTED to chat to us did, and everyone else could go home and pay the baby-sitter or the parking garage. I’m going to do it this way whenever I can in future.

Altogether a wonderful experience, and now… the elephant in the room is PRODUCTION. How to move this play beyond prizes and staged readings to, er, getting someone to put serious money into putting it on stage? That is the question that keeps a lot of American playwrights (and directors and actors and literary managers) sweaty and sleepless.

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One Response to “Talk-back revolution and sexy horses”

  1. Rick Massimo January 25, 2008 at 8:05 pm #

    I’m betting you can follow this model whenever you want. Next time someone brings up the “fact” that there will be a talkback after your show or reading, just as innocently ask “Why would we want to do that?”

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