The first blog I ever read, playwright Marisa Wegrzyn’s Chainsaw Calligraphy, has been dark since February. And genius Chicago theater-practitioner and ground-level-theorist Nick Keenan hasn’t posted a musing on Theater for the Future since the end of August. Is it the end of an era, a very short— shall we call it cyberpaced?—era? Has twitter killed the blogosphere star? Will the next phase of online communication streamline twitter’s 140 characters down to a more traditional (yet totally po-po-mo*) 5-7-5 haiku structure?
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From there, will we resolve simply to send each other ridiculously detailed emoticons? The I’m-pouting-at-you-because-you-hurt-my-feelings-but-I-still-love-you-and-I’m-not-really-mad-or-at-least-I-won’t-be-after-you-grovel-a-little face. The I-had-a-really-bad-day-at-work-because-the-copier-jammed-and-I-missed-the-all-important-meeting face. The I-hate-emoticons-ironic face.
Since my last major post at the end of September, A.C.T. celebrated the opening of a truly beautiful and inspiring production of Marcus: or The Secret of Sweet, which completes the also-inspiring collaboration between A.C.T., the Magic, and Marin Theatre Company to put on three independently conceived productions of Tarell Alvin McCraney’s Brother/Sister Plays. It is hard to believe that it closes on Sunday. If you haven’t seen it, you should. I’m going again this weekend. A Bay Area with McCraney is hard to imagine . . . luckily, Berkeley Rep has him under commission. [Insert I-cannot-wait-to-see-what-he-creates-for-them emoticon here.]
Now I’ve moved on to Clybourne Park, our slot 4 show opening early next year, for which I’m writing two very different articles. A long piece on gentrification—what it is, how it played out in Chicago (where Bruce Norris set his play), and how it has (and is) playing out in San Francisco. Then a shorter piece on the legacy of A Raisin in the Sun and Lorraine Hansberry. Fascinating rides so far.
Meanwhile, the battered-husband play has morphed into a cycle of its own, tentatively called Cycles of Abuse. I hesitate to say the leap from one to three plays was McCraney inspired, but the timing suggests some connection. But if we are to say that, then we must also give credit to J.C. Lee’s This World and After: A Wildly Imaginative Trilogy about the End of Our World . . . in fact, Lee is probably more to blame. Oh, hey: look! Lee blogged earlier today. Huzzah. Not alone in the blogosphere after all.
*po·po·mo. adj. A text-speak abbreviation of “post post modern”; meant to invoke a sense of irony. And, yes, I have heard this used in conversation. And, yes, I died a little on the inside.