Monday, October 15, 2012

Harold Pinter's The Homecoming: "Luke, you are my reviewer"

The First Review Is In! Luke is the verdict...

See Review Here From The Oregonian

So,The Homecoming         

is officially open. We had a good first weekend run, and at least two reviewers were there. 


What a mindfuck. My auto spell check says mindfuck isn't a word, but I think it should be added to google's lexicon. Afterall, if google is a word, why can't mindfuck be?

Mindfuck. So, yes, as an actor working on the HARDEST PLAY EVER WRITTEN, Harold Pinter's The Homecoming, you have to ride the line between broadcasting a metaphor to an audience, laying it all out there for them so that it's easy to digest, showing all the inner turmoil that is the character; and keeping all of it close to the chest so as to leave the decision making up to the viewer. 

Most reviewers have no idea what that process is like. The process of developing a piece of living literature for public presentation. Especially in an age of 10 second soundbites and loud colorful images of breasts and dilated female eyes. This play, upon reading, is so complex, so enigmatic, so specific and vague at the same time, that to choose a path and "show" it would be to spit on the memory of the Nobel Prize winning playwright. He didn't want us to broadcast the bitch. He wanted us to play it close to the chest. 

I said this to my fellow cast mates in email today:

I think, that with theatre moving away from Drama, and toward a visual experience (meaning away from the written word), it is harder for the viewer to accept literary theatre. This is sad, on the one hand, but it is also just the way things go, as generations flow through time and our artistic forms morph and twist. 

Pinter is still of that Dramatic form, the literary form. And we are working with Paul (Angelo) to execute that literature with respect. We're not broadcasting a blunt interpretation of the play to an assumed sense-dulled audience that can only hear the loudest of metaphors. 

This [piece] is a challenge to show to the public, most of whom are looking for ten second visual cues that move the story along. Most "modern" pieces have three times as many events occurring in them as this piece has. And yet, the emotional landscape of this piece is unparalleled.  And I believe that people have the capacity to ignore the cartoonish nature of their culture when they are interested in something deeper. I believe that people are smarter than the ad execs who barrage them with banal simplicity.

If people can't hear our subtext, then we maybe are flat. Another possibility is that there are a few who are themselves emotionally deaf as a result of being assaulted by archetypical scenarios.

We are doing a good job. (PAUSE) I think.

I can't say whether we are flat or sufficient. I'm not the one in that position, the reviewer is in that position. But I know, that as an audience member, the worst insult to me, the biggest proof that I've just wasted my last 2 hours and money on ticket, overpriced bad coffee and a shitty pastry(in other words the professional regional theatre experience), is when a theatre troupe doesn't let me make my own decisions about what just happened on stage. That may be the playwright's fault, or the director's. But it doesn't matter in the end. If the Who is removed from the Whodunit, I'm pissed.

I would rather be flat than to be guilty of answering the Who part of the question. 


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