My play 'Dogs of the Blue Gods' is getting a reading at 8pm TONIGHT (May 6th)
@ The Living Theatre, 21 Clinton St. New York, New York 10002
kind of short notice though, darn it..
still, its happening, for any folks in forum, in the area - who'd be interested in seeing a reading of this one-act play. Runs about 40-50 minutes max, depending on how they read it..
to cut n paste from my own totally self-serving description of the piece:
The story takes place in a police dog training facility. The characters themselves are
dogs - played by actors padding around on all fours, quite naturally. The story unfolds
as we discover the quiet group dynamics of a bunch of very jaundiced, somewhat
depressed dogs, beginning to wonder what their purpose is in life.
Rex is a new arrival in the facility - a domestic street dog - with very alien idea's to
the more militarized thinking of the pack. His arrival brings out the long simmering and
unacknowledged tensions in the kennel.
The warring concepts of Pacifism versus Patriotism are played out - but on a 'dog'
The award-winning piece has been performed in the US, and South Africa, both by
adults, and by school children - in a variety of different professional and amateur
theatrical stagings, winning various awards.
lets pretend I didn't write this, all those years back, while in a stoned haze, under apartheid, inspired by an old Cheech and Chong sketch :)
If your only experience of South African anti-apartheid theatre, is the standard (to me 'yawnfest') Athol Fugard approach of angst and kitchen-sink drama - this piece comes
from an entirely different place and approach..
Last edited on Tue May 6th, 2008 11:23 am by IanFraser
well, one of my plays, which won perhaps the biggest theatre award at the time,
in South Africa - the 'Amstel Playwright of the Year' award - (for 'Heart Like a Stomach') went straight for Fugard's throat..
The play had a self-aware character who was the utter bad guy of the piece (who ended up feeding the cast poison, and chattering happily during the death convulsions of everyone, at the end of this strange sexual comedy-of-manners)
The character moaned at the audience, over how vile it was being trapped in this play, having to do such evil stuff, night after night.. whereas the audience has the illusion of freedom, and they can get up and leave anytime they want..
Point being, the character, in the climactic moments, takes the time to point out that if he had the talents and ability to encapsulate all the suffering of the Black South Africans, and wrap it all up in a nice sweet little useless story, "like that c*nt Fugard does so well" - he'd do it. But he can't. However.. rat poison, now that can be found almost anywhere...
And the piece won, bigtime.
So even back then, I had no problems with going up against anyone :P
No balls required.
(Remember, I've had the practical experience of facing up to Apartheid security police at 5am, in my bedroom, fully armed and looking for trouble - as well as many other incidents and nastinesses, so the idle dissing of a famous playwright, takes no balls at all, in my view.
Perhaps in peaceful societies, like here in the US, its considered 'radical' - but where I (and Fugard) come from - its no big deal, in the larger scheme of things. We both know what 'radical' really is.
'Balls' or 'courage' is sometimes about having the ethics to face up to people who have the ability to (legally) violently hurt you, and you then choose to stand your ground, even though you may get hurt or killed for it.
That said - one also then learns to pick ones battles - sometimes you have to run away, other times you have to stay and get a little physically hurt - it 'depends' ..
So calling Fugard a 'yawnfest' is the least of the things I've called him in the past :)
well, there werent a lot of people there unfortunately, but still, it went pretty good, the actors were really nice, and given there was only one rehearsal - they didnt do a bad job at all. The play worked and the actors did a great job..
Very interesting little theatre - very nice, not sure how many seater, but main thing is 'its a theatre' :)
hadn't been in that part of NY before..
apparently half the company though, is over in Italy, so I schmoozed as best I could, kissed babies, shook hands, and enjoyed the show. The director asked if I'd mind if he showed it to some people, and possibly do another reading/staging (not sure which) naturally I said 'sure, no problem'..