Man 1:”Do you call the documentary scene The Venice Project?”
“We call it Blackwatch 1 …”
Man 1: “Really?”
So, assuming that Venice was sacked after all, and that 10 years later theatre gathered together it’s response …
Levine: What do you do with all that extra information – what does it do to you?
Man 1: it makes me want to take notes. It makes me think there’s going to be a test afterwards … the numbers are so specific, they must be true.
L: Even when the numbers are under dispute?
Woman 5: the disputed numbers make me believe her story – the one with a face – even more.
Man 2: since there’s something not totally clear, we’re forced to take sides – it does seem political, because of the disagreement.
L: but there’s disagreement with the courtesan – the mercenary saying “every whore in Venice tells the same story.”
Man 2: maybe it’s because of the documentary figures expand the context, we grant it more substance.
Man 4: because you have a man and woman talking about rape, you have to think that something bad has happened. You can’t deny the fact – it seems automatically political.
Man 3: we’re not trained to watch the talking heads – we’re trained to watch her. I’m a high school teacher, and my kids are watching her, not the figures – what matters is what people connect with emotionally, that’s where the political message resides.
L: but okay, at the risk of being a jerk for a moment … which scene makes you want to go out and do something? Isn’t that the measure?
Woman 4: the first Courtesan scene.
L: to do what, though, protest 17th century Venice?
W4: well, compared to the second scene, which seems so cynical –
GLK: the woman is cynical, but is the scene?
W4: she knows too much
L: is innocence a requirement for our pity?
Man 3: but also the Renaud/Jaffier scene – I can do something with that scene, I can vote – the others don’t pull me in, because I feel helpless
L: did you need the theatre to tell you that?
Man 3: I need the theatre to remind me of that.
W2: I’m not sure about action as a measure – so much is also about accumulation, about generating a point of view. There’s a longer view …
L: Okay, what if we were able to re-work the Renaud/Jaffier scene to really ground the audience sympathetically in Renaud’s point of view – and maybe that really gives you something you don’t know beforehand. But do you want to have sympathy for Donald Rumsfeld?