Sunday, May 9, 2010

Keeping it Cagey

Huzzah, the busy season at my job is now over, so I'm looking forward to having my life back... but I will not necessarily return to blogging at my old compulsive pace. I have a lot of plans these days--plays I want to write! and translate! and adapt! and help my friends produce!--so I think I might be better served by concentrating on these projects, and not feel like I need to constantly generate ideas for new blog posts. Of course, I hope very much that these other projects of mine will come to fruition, and if they pan out, I'll certainly let you know what's going on with them! But until they become something more than just a glimmer in my eye, I feel it's better to be a little cagey about what I'm plotting...

Also, my old rule for writing about theater on my blog was that I had to be careful when writing about contemporary/living playwrights, but dead/classic writers were fair game. (And yes, I know that several times I violated my rule about not criticizing contemporary writers... but I always thought hard before I did it.) However, now that I am on a committee that curates a reading series of "hidden classic" plays, I've got to be circumspect when writing about older plays and playwrights, too! Now, when I read a play that I think has been unfairly overlooked, and I want to call attention to it, I shouldn't do it by writing a blog post... first I should bring it to the attention of my fellow committee members and try to persuade them to include it in our reading series! And I don't want you to be able to guess what Hidden Classics we will produce merely by an astute perusal of my blog. In a couple of months, we should be ready to announce the 2010-2011 lineup of Hidden Classics, but for now, mum's the word...

5 comments:

Dr.J said...

It´s me again, your worthless friend... (quotation from the song "Horsin´around" lyrics by Paddy McAloon, Prefab Sprout)
Before I too slow the pace of these comments a suggestion and a quest. First, is someone awarded with the Nobel Prize a candidate to Hidden Classic? if so, my nomination is for Jacinto Benavente (Nobel Prize 1922) and his play "The bonds of interest" (Los intereses creados) there is a bilingual edition by S. Applebaum (2003), the original date of publication is 1907. It is a commedia dell´arte setting with Harlequin, Pantaloon, Punchinello...
The quest is for something I have read in a spanish paper (Oct 2009)
is there a forgotten poet Mr. Art McCarthy in San Francisco? a nephew of Sen. McCarthy with a book of poems California (1970) edited by City Lights, the Ferlinghetti bookshop, a notorious gay and drunkard according to this spanish writer (Mr. JJ Armas-Marcelo). Thanks and good luck with the Hidden Classics

Marissa said...

A Nobel Prize winner qualifies for Hidden Classics if we've never heard of him/her in the United States! And I don't know anyone who's heard of Jacinto Benavente.

I've never heard of Art McCarthy but I am probably not the best person to ask. I don't really know much about poetry or the beatnik/City Lights crowd. (Though it is a beautiful bookstore to visit!)

Mead said...

First of all, I'm thrilled to find myself quoted in your sidebar! I feel I've been immortalized....

And second of all, though I'm not sure you're actually inviting suggestions, I'd love to ransack the lumber room of dramatic lit for a few Hidden Classic recommendations. Is the entire span of history open for plundering? And how do you feel about scripts by noted writers (dead ones) that are unplayable or even god awful yet fascinating in their very obstreperousness?

Marissa said...

Hey Mead,

"Hidden Classics" are nebulously defined but I would say that anything 1950 or earlier qualifies. Obscure works by "name" playwrights, or masterpieces by lesser-known playwrights are both good. We're looking for pieces that, for whatever reason, never get full productions in 21st-century America, but don't deserve to be forgotten. And that can definitely include "unplayable or god-awful scripts," as long as they're an important part of theater history. For instance, this winter Hidden Classics did a reading of Seneca's "Medea," which I think is pretty damn unplayable--but also fascinating.

We have a LOT of ideas already--probably more than we can produce in the upcoming year--but I am always happy to hear your suggestions, and to investigate obscure plays for the sake of my own writing as well! Shoot me an email with your ideas, if you get the chance.

珮瑜 said...
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