Backstage Writers – Think Hope Do


Postmodern Challenges – Defining Impact

Julian’s High Moments

Julian forces us to go to cocktail parties. OK, to be precise, he gets us invited, and we never balk at an evening of “character research.”

To assume a role, he says, you have to understand your character’s high moments.  Most actors roll their eyes and remind Julian that he is not a youth center drama coach. We stick up for him and assure him it’s not just for the cocktail parties. “You need to ask a few probing questions,” Julian says, “learn where a person stands, discover his driving force. Is he passionate about his job, his hobby, his unique take on life? ” Thanks to him, we’re good at getting strangers to unleash their enthusiasm. Some of us could moonlight as head hunters.

People discuss the oddest things at cocktail parties. The other night the subject was amputation. The anesthesiologist was all excited because they’d managed to save the knee. “Don’t you see?” she said, “Below the knee makes all the difference to a more or less normal life.” Read the rest of this entry »

A Postmodern Question

Why do we iron?

There is a certain hypnotic pleasure to the act. One or two gentle strokes, the ugly crease is gone, and you have straight, smooth cloth. We need this smoothness for some reason. Why? What do we get out of this repetitive, seemingly useless act? If every time I ironed, one starving child got fed, I’d iron every day. Imagine the sense of purpose we’d feel if we could iron out hunger, disease, inequality. We’d iron for peace. We’d iron to protect the ozone layer. Read the rest of this entry »

Nothing is set in stone – Changes as they happen on Center Stage

-I’m not sitting here, Fran!

-Oh Tod.

-Don’t start that, Fran.

-He did say, “Center Stage.”

-Why us?

-We’re props, Tod.

-Why’d he choose us, Fran? We’re not the only Americans. We weren’t first in line. Is it my weight? Is it your-

-He looked so pleased to put us here.

-And so we’re just going to sit here ‘cause “Monsieur” looked pleased? Are you nuts, Fran?

-Oh, Tod. You wanted something contemporary… You like being on stage.

-I can’t even talk to you.

-Don’t touch them!

-There’s got to be a back door. Don’t want to step over your “Monsieur”. Why’s he standing guard like that?

-Tod, you never touch the curtains in a theatre.

-Why the hell not? Let me guess, because theatre is like life? Is that it, Fran? You don’t turn your back on anybody, and you don’t touch his curtains? You’re pathetic, Fran!

-Sit down, Tod.

-I don’t like that tone, Fran.

-What tone?

-That sweet little voice of yours! I hate it when you get all nice. I know what you’re thinking.

-If you don’t want to-

-Stop whispering, Fran!

-If you don’t want to be part of the spectacle, sit down and try to act-

-Act how?

-Now is not the time.

-Come on, Fran, how should I act?

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