From my day job:
One day, I will open a show with a woman onstage, sharpening pencils with an electric pencil sharpener. Pencil after pencil. Making that grinding noise. As someone has been doing in the conference room for the past half-hour.
From Sir Peter Hall’s appalingly literal production of As You Like It:
As You Like It is such a truly weird play–the fun, you-direct-Shakespeare-to-solve-’em questions the script raises (why does Rosalind maintain her hidden identity with Orlando for so long? What’s going on between Ros and Celia? What is Shakespeare doing have a melancholic running rampant through these funny and imperfect love stories? How do you make these disconnected stories work? How will the play (and characters, and design) transform once we’re in the Forest? Why is the forest continually referred to as a “desert”? How do you “solve” all the little magic-twist endings and integrate them into the being of the production so that they either don’t jar, or jar in a way that contributes to the overall arc of the production?) became all the more apparent as Sir Hall’s production attempted to answer absolutely none of them. Aquila, I’m sure, would bend that play over and spank it. So to speak.
No playwright is yummier for a director than Shakespeare–it’s both brilliantly written and conceived and characterized, of course, but has enough gaps to be malleable. Seeing the play made me want to sit over the script with my notebook in hand for a few hours–there’s a tremendous fable to be cracked from it, a (quite dark) masque about sexuality and love and time and identity.
Also reminds me that at some point I wanted to write “shell” plays, plays with gaps that would instruct completion by its creators.
This seems like it might be a bad idea. Discuss.
As a friend noted, “some, indeed many, events in history are so terrible that they are truly desecrated by Spielberg’s desire to find a story of human triumph in everything.”
If you’re in New York, go see this.