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The Playwrights Forum > Critic's Corner > Reviews and Critiques > Why People Don't Read Plays for Fun Anymore

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 Posted: Thu Oct 23rd, 2014 07:11 am
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in media res
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Mana: 
There used to be a book publishing company called Fireside Theatre Book Club that was around for many years. It was a monthly subscription series. They were hard-bound editions of current plays that had been performed usually on Broadway or Off-Broadway and or published that year. People who were in the theatre across the country from NYC to South Dakota used to subscribe to the editions in order to stay current. Living in a small town in the Midwest, I had many of them and friends and I would share our choices with each other to stay current.

http://www.theatermania.com/new-york-city-theater/news/04-2003/stage-and-screen-book-club-to-cease-operations-in-_3437.html


So, I ran across this article and hope you find it of interest.

http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/books/2014/10/annie_baker_s_the_flick_and_the_joy_of_reading_plays.single.html

Best,

IMR

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 Posted: Fri Oct 31st, 2014 07:28 pm
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katoagogo
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Mana: 
Very interesting article, thanks for posting the link. Stage directions can make or break your play.

When I worked with Paula Vogel she emphasized the awareness of plasticity in the play-world. Plasticity is everything that is not the dialogue. The way you choose to put the words on the page is one level of plasticity, the way you choose to describe the space and its arrangement is another, and the way you choose to construct your stage directions is yet another level.

She encouraged us to explore multiple ways to convey the information on the page. This is part of why many of her students, like Sarah Ruhl, Adam Bock, Nilo Cruz, Christina Anderson, among others, compose extradorinaiy stage-worlds and stage directions. The exploration begins on the character description page. There is no one formula for any one play. Everything is designed to convey the immediate message of a particular world. It is not a bag of tricks, but a genuine exploration based solely on the requirements of a a particular play-world construction.

In particular, she used the stage directions of Tennessee Williams as a model.

On another note, last weekend I saw the Neo-Futurists perform the Complete Condensed Stage Directions of Eugene O'Neill Volume II -- which proved to be an extraordinary evening of manic contortions, fun, and poignancy all rolled into one.

http://www.nyneofuturists.org

-kato

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