So, i've been working on this thing about Brecht. Basically an essay and theatre peice contrasting myself and Bertolt Brecht. WOrking out our problems.
but i'm waiting for a book to come in the mail.
I think my thoughts can be summarized thusly:
Brecht said: "art is not a mirror with which we reflect reality, it is a hammer with which we can shape reality" I think: Art is a mirror with which we shape reality.
I think Brecht, like so many communists back in the day, didn't understand Marx well enough. Didn't understand Hegel. How the mere understanding of a thing transforms the thing in a significant qualitative way. That's why he so often made ineffective propaganda instead of effective art.
Ulysses' Crewmen is all dichotomies and oppositions. Inversions and subversions. Everything is reversed, switched, fucked with to the point where symbolically and thematically, the meaning is lost.
The more i think about Brook and Grotowski and Artaud, the more i think i need to let act 2 go their way. I think i need to reject the advice of people who are afraid the audience isn't going to follow it, or that there needs to be stylistic unity. I think instead some overlap is better. Act 1 being a well made play with moments that don't quite add up and act 2 is all ineffable and image-based and confronts the audience on a subconscious thematic level without completely abandoning the narrative set up (but suddenly transforming it and bending it to just about the point of breaking) from act 1.
This will force the audience to shift gears, and most of them won't be able to, but for those who do it will be an amazing experience. that is, if i can pull it off. This play is trying to do everything. It's talking about political action in the context of gay rights, gentrification, globalization and torture. It's confronting domestic and foreign policy. it's advancing a synthesis of theatre styles and commenting on theatre itself. It's referencing ionesco and beckett and genet and god... everyone. it's aiming for a critical thinking audience like Brecht wanted, but through a different method. I want some actors doing grotowski and some actors doing stanislavski and some doing Brecht and some doing stand up comedy. I want to make rehearsals into boot camp. i want six months, not six weeks with this thing. I want bill boards and light grids and 99 seats. i want thousands of dollars. I want to pay my actors and crew well.
For some reason, these days, when i think about all of this, i actually think i can pull it all off. i need to take it one step at a time though. no. i need to do it all at once.
here's what i need to do:
1. finish writing it
2. start fundraising
3. produce something else and do it in the most profitable way possible (Upua, with TONS of fundraising and ticket sales)
4. keep (or aquire) a tight team of seriously dedicated people
5. set up the venue, dates, etc a year in advance.
6. cast (at least partially) well in advance and get that cast familiar with the play and the acting styles.
7. start doing workshops, structured improv, show them to the public regulalry, make money and train actors, directors, teach ourselves Grotowski, then unlearn it and mash it into everything else we know (cuz pure grotowski ain't never gonna be my bag)
8. get someone else to be in charge of tech. someone who i can hand a design to and trust.
9. do fundraising and promotion before production starts.
10. have a longer than normal production period, with experiments, workshopping and editing the text, but staying more faithful to it than the Brook/Grotowski crowd does. build that opposition. make the conflict between a rigid text and open experimental acting crackle with energy and approach the truth dialectically.
11. spend all the theatre company's money, then empty my bank account.
12. pay the actors and techs first, then pay back the company, then pay me back.
13. keep on a shoestring budget. empty my house out. All my earthly possessions become the props. the only thing i own that wouldn't fit on that stage, is my bed. stop paying rent that's another $410 a month that can go to the show.
14. take it as far as it will go.
15. put absolutely everything into it and when it's dead, be tabula rasa.
5 days ago