Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Comment of the Week

Here are this week's contenders for Comment of the Week:

Comment #1: a new comment on your post "False Equivalency: Broadway Is Not The American Th...":

For technicians such as myself, it cannot be denied that Broadway productions do provide something of an "idea factory," at least in terms of technical development, for the world of theatre at large. Since very few producing entities outside of Broadway can come close to matching the budgets of commercial theatre in New York, it isn't surprising that Broadway productions can afford to stretch the limits of what we can create in the theatrical experience. From the soaring Peter Pan to the barely visible for all the fog of Starlight Express (dating myself here) to the fiascos of Spiderman, succeed or fail, these shows have pushed the envelope of our technical capabilities. On the other hand, I can't think of a community practicing theatre in America more woefully devoid of fresh artistic ideas that Broadway producers. Of course I'm exaggerating here, but it seems to me, perusing the endless string of familiar titles gaudily emblazoned on the marquees of Times Square, that, like Hollywood, Broadway has fallen into the cozy trap of simply reproducing what has already been proven to work. Commercialism is not the friend of experimental art, and marketing is the practice of giving people what they want, or alternatively convincing them they want what you're offering. I don't blame Broadway for taking the easy road here, Broadway does what Broadway does, but I, like the author of this article, will neither applaud them `for leading us into the brilliant new future of art. If that future holds no more promise than the recent derivative and repetitive string of cheap reproductions, I shed a tear for us all.   

Comment #2: a new comment on your post "Wear These Scary Backward High Heels If You Dare [...":
Well I was not expecting that. I have always been in love with high fashion (though there are admittadly time it's taken to far) but I'm a wee bit confused on where the artist is coming from. Well the shoes are a interesting idea I don't see how it makes a comentary on our search for perfection. The artist says they want to explor whats beyond perfction yet they choose a beautiful, skinny model to wear the shoes Well yes the model does look in pain it does not feel like enough to completly convey the stated intention behind the peice. This comes across more as a statment against avant garde fashionthen a statement condeming our desire for perfection of beauty. All that aside I realy do like the concept of the shoes. They part that your foot fits in is really quite similar to a point shoe (as in ballet) but the heel in front removes all the grace from her movment, creating a interesting juxtoposition between her whole look and the way she moves.

Comment #3: a new comment on your post "A Microprocessor for All Seasons":
Here's the thing about Arduino, it's not really useful on its own. It's not like you can put an Arduino Uno on your set and it magically becomes wonderful. The value of Arduino is that it is a gateway into other fields. I had little to no understanding of electronics and circuitry before tinkering with Arduino. I hadn't used computer programming since high school where I took a class in C++. It is all these other concepts, tools, and design options that make Arduino so valuable to our field. Once we introduce programming and circuitry into our TD and designer brains (I'm sure those who say it should be already) uses for Arduino will be more apparent. And even if they don't manifest themselves, that doesn't devalue Arduino's educational usage, it's ability to teach and introduce people to new technologies.   

Comment #4: a new comment on your post "Director Robert Lepage: risking it all":
I am so intrigued by this type of theater! The first few lines of this article, too got me hooked.. just delving into this story gave arise too so many questions. FIRST of all Lepage certainly seems like he is risking it all, in the best way possible, for the sake of his art, vision, and incredibly mad ideas. (The good kind of crazy!) When does this get to be too much though? For him it seems like the sky's the limit, he's not only working on this new show in Las Vegas BUT he is also involved in the MET's production of the Tempest, it seems spectacular. I always wonder how someone gets to do all of these things and stay sane for the most part! In the article it was stated that some of his previous works went up in smoke- just because of time constraints and alot going on, maybe a lot of projects and ideas that just needed more time. I think I'm just fascinated that he took a huge, tremendous risk, failed, but now is so so successful with multiple projects on the burner! I only wonder that, after what some might consider a flop, how do you pick right back up with the same amount of ambition.. I feel like it would be tough for someone starting out! I'm so pleased that I read this article though, I wish I could just find out how Lepage got to such a point where he gets to do what he loves AND is met with project after project to express that. I want to know more about how he manages it all too! And maybe a better question- how does a set designer fit into his work? Are they an equal part of the collaboration? A lot of burning questions- I am just fascinated. He is willing to triumph greatly or fail triumphantly. Amazing.

Comment #5: a new comment on your post "Rural Theater in a Democracy":
I love that these professional theatres exist and are trying to reach out to everyone. I have to admit I have never considered what theatre is like or if it even exists in areas like the Appalachian Mountain area. But I am glad that it does. The article quotes Alexis de Tocqueville saying, 'only in the theater have the upper classes mingled with the middle and lower classes'. It must have sounded so great and noble when he wrote it, but I don't think that it is true any more. I think that 'mainstream' theatre has gravitated as a whole toward the moneymakers and the upper class crowd pleasers. Which is incredibly dangerous, because if you are only marketing to the upper rich percent, they are going to get bored eventually and theatre won't have a leg to stand on. But where Roadside thrives is that they market to everyone, the lower class identifies and when the upper class sees shows about the lower class they usually can find it fascinating. What I am getting at is that companies like this are pivotal in the future of theatre, and getting that type of art out to everyone.

Put your vote in the comments for this post.

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