T: Okay, I think it’s recording lots of wind. Talk louder cuz the wind is blowing.
This is Tracy Doyle and Rex Winsome's first audio recorded theatrical review. What follows is a condensation of that review. They saw opening night of Kennilworks: Ghost, in the “new” UWM Kennilworth building. Have at it, kids.
T: That was, over all, was… eh?
R: Uh huh.
T: But that girl… I thought she was outstanding.
R: Not Sanyika, but the other guy was really good, too.
T: Uh yes, I don’t remember his name… He was pretty good. Sanyika, I think he’d be a good film actor.
R: When he’s serious, when he... like when he stops talking, when he starts doing this… and saying… and putting… really unnatural pauses in his...
R: It becomes completely dead. Every time it’s something serious he does that. And it kills it. Like, at the most important times.
T: Yeah. But it’s like, I feel like he’s acting inside his head. Cuz I think it’s all going on, but it doesn’t come out of his voice or his body.
T: Like I think he’s going through all the… you can be too much of a head actor. But anyway, that’s just personal things about one actor. Uh…. The show was trite. Is that the right word?
R: Cliché, yeah.
T: But you know what I liked about that poetry? That she did, which I didn’t get it until like the second poem where she talked about it or whatever. I really like that it was really bad poetry, cuz she had mentioned that she’s not very good. So that actually made sense and worked, but well, it didn’t work, cuz I didn’t like it at all. And it like, broke her, the mood, every time.
R: Totally, it was like- again, the same sort of thing, like when it’s most important to have the audience, like a transition of feeling, and they did this poem
T: That just killed everything you had just felt and you were like wow, this is shit. What I really loved though- I really loved that it wasn’t about race; it was about class.
R: Oh yeah. But at the same time… it didn’t... It didn’t ever get raw. Like the fucking- you know when he shoots him or the fucking...
T: Or when he hits the- yeah.
R: It’s still like, glorified and clean
T: Oh, it totally glorified the hood lifestyle. Oh, man, the uh, some of the other acting was pretty piss poor.
R: A lot of ‘em were dancers. So the actors aren’t dancing well and the dancers aren’t acting well…
T: Okay, here’s my thing about dance: if I couldn’t hear the movements, I’d probably like dance. But when you can hear their feet shuffling on the ground and it’s all clunky and cloddy and like, takes away from their movement.
R: It’s like choreographed fighting but it was all clean and smooth and graceful but not… like it should either be completely dancing or fucking-
T: And part of that is skill levels. But I also felt they coulda used music. I mean this fucking show, like, they had the DJ guy, they had like speakers and music. All the times they danced I don’t see why there wasn’t...
R: Yeah, there shoulda been.
T: What’d you think of the whole ensemble deal? What did that do to the story, having all those people there? And on stage all the time.
R: I think it kinda distracted.
T: The play didn’t reveal any truth or anything I’ve not heard before.
T: What it did is it- I hadn’t seen it on stage before.
R: It put it on stage and I’m sure there were some people there for whom it was the revealing of a truth. It woulda been much more effective if it woulda let itself be raw.
T: This is the first, well I don’t know, Top Dog, Under Dog dealt with more street issues, but in less... this was nice because it was young and it was at a college where the people are young and these are issues that some of the students might be dealing with. It did feel a little after school special-y. Well, a lot.
R: That’s the problem. That’s the only real problem with it.
T: Is this the world premiere?
R: Yeah, it’s original. It was after-school specially, some good acting
T: But it is different than other things going on.
R: Yeah, it was. It was, uh... thinking about it in terms of Brecht. And is it didactic theatre? Where you don’t have characters, you don’t have anything; you just wanna make a point.
T: You don’t have characters?
R: You don’t care about your characters. Your characters are all stand-ins. Symbols. That sort of thing. And they were all “types.”
T: The “man” and the “kid” thing.
R: The alter ego.
T: Yeah, just cuz… but you didn’t get to see any real struggle within Sanyika.
R: He didn’t have to act.
T: Cuz the other guy did it for him
R: Right. I think that splitting the character in half is a cop out, a cheat. From the writer’s perspective, and I think that detracted from it and yeah, it made it easier for the actors easier all around, made it easier for the audience and I don’t like easy theatre.
T: And those boxes, that’s the other thing I wanna say. Why didn’t they put some weight in those boxes?
2 hours ago