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Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Meaning of Theatre?

What does theatre mean? I constructed this word cloud by importing the text from two Wikipedia articles "drama" and "theatre." It makes sense, then, that those are the largest terms visible in the cloud. I edited most terms that were only mentioned once, especially names and linking words like between, such, and therefore. But I also edited out countries and languages that were only mentioned once- Hindu, Sanskrit, Chinese, etc.- making a very Westernized cloud that features "Greek" as prominently as "Play."

I have edited the already limited meaning of theatre presented on Wiki. Tell me- how would you define theatre? What would you choose to add or remove or make prominent?

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Political Theatre

Disclaimer: WCTNW is a non-profit and does not endorse candidates for public office. No names will be named, nor do I hope to influence your vote in any way. Opinions are my own, blah blah.

I just got back from a political debate! Discussion, really, there was no back and forth like a traditional debate- just a series of questions that everyone had a minute to answer when it was their turn. The Hilltop neighborhood (where I live) had every candidate for Lauren Walker's open City Council seat over for a civilized exploration of issues. It was fantastic. It was short, equitable, and informative. I have never learned so much about politics. And you know what- politics are shockingly like theatre. If you are bored, and there is no theatre in your area, consider going to a political event. It's the same thrill of seeing human emotion in charged yet vulnerable circumstances. There is a story that each person wants to tell, and desperately needs you to believe. And the characters, oh the characters. Let's describe them shall we?

1. The Irish-Catholic labor leader. (White, male, 40s)
2. The neighborhood activist. (Black, male, 20s)
3. The successful restaurant owner. (White, female, 40-50s)
4. The constant political candidate. (White, male, 40s)
5. The driven hipster. (White, male, 30s)
6. The frontrunner. (Black, male, 30-40s)
7. The ex-military businessman. (White, male, 40s)

Prior to the discussion, the panel collected audience questions and chose 10 to read out loud. Topics ranged from the light rail down MLK, graffiti, a Hilltop library branch, drug enforcement,  and the neighborhood character in the face of gentrification. I would say that almost everyone was progressive on a few issues, but centrist on the majority. Except for the neighborhood activist, who won my heart by refusing to play ball. He called everyone to the table about racism, changing stances to suit the political winds, and addressing symptoms (eg. graffiti) instead of causes (boredom, poverty, systematic disenfranchisement of youth of color). I will eat my own hand knit hat if he wins- he has zero desire to make nice and I think that would work against him in the collaborative environment of the City Council. But he absolutely changed the conversation. Other candidates were more open about the need for low-income housing, because he made it an issue worth discussing.

That my friends, is how I see our role as a theatre. We are here to open discussion, to bring issues to the fore in a way that can't be ignored, to demand acknowledgement. We hold a mirror to society- not a fun house mirror that distorts reality, not a sycophant mirror that assures you of your exalted position as fairest of them all. No. Our job is to say- these are our stories, see them, hear them, engage with them. And then, maybe, change them.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Industry Night- Sunday 9/21

We'd be tickled if you joined us! Photo by Kate Lick 

Do you love theater so much that you are too busy doing shows to watch them? Would you love to support your fellow actors, artists and tech folk, but always have conflicts with your own theater-induced-crazy-town schedule? Fret no more. This Sunday, September 21st at 8pm is industry night! Chances are, your theater does not have a show this Sunday, so you can come see our show. If you have volunteered or worked in theater any time in the last year, your tickets are only $10. No need to bring proof, we trust you. Seats are limited, so buy your tickets now with the code SchoolSpecial14

Thursday Night Treats

As an incentive to get people out to School for Lies this Thursday (9/18) and next (9/25) I will bake up a storm! Nothing says love like cookies; this is a romantic satire, after all! So without further ado, may I present Thursday Night Treats. Free cookie with any donation or ticket purchase. Chocolate chip cookies are pictured above, because those are my favorite kind to make.  Suggest your favorites in the comments below. Cookie choice highly influenced by bribes, ahem, donations to the theater.

Sunday, February 23, 2014


When I think of theater literature that addresses the conditions of working Americans, I think of these plays:
What plays do you think of?  Comment and share your favorites