Naked Topicality

DL: does it feel more distant if you know what they’re talking about?

M8:it’s in the air and topical, so I feel more confident about spinning it my own way, even if the theatre is still in the way, maybe I can get past it …

Dan: for me what it does politically isn’t important

M1: there’s an assumption that the dynamic of engagement begun in the theatre needs to continue as the audience leaves – change can happen in many other ways, and over different periods of time

DL: but that’s what we mean about taking theatre at its word.  there’s a way in which theatre’s claim to political value is undone by the rules of the event – that people are checking their involvement at the door, sitting in the dark, paying $50 for a seat, etc.  Given that there aren’t riots any more – and that it’s more a limited audience in the first place – isn’t it entirely constrained?

M4: aren’t there ways to get people involved politically without it being a riot?

JK: Brecht?

DL: But isn’t Brecht really subsumed in what we’ve been doing – aren’t people asking for something larger, a real change of terms?

M4: what about the Living Theatre – the audience was forced to enter an ontologically changed space for the duration of their performance ….

W8: did SW write this for actors to do stage this?  was she connected to the theatre?  do we have to make this assumption?  To me, her life story seems more interesting than her play …

CW: I think it’s interesting that she used this form at the same time her own city is being threatened –

JB: she didn’t try to write a play after working in a factory

CW: yeah, is there something about Paris being in peril that made her employ this very human and intimate form?

DL: does anyone want beer?

[people do, and despite a heroic effort, CW’s attempt to continue speaking is completely swallowed in a roar of rattling ice, beer, muttering]

DL: does everyone have their democracy lubricator?

CW: what about the example of the groundlings in elizabethan england – which was a repressive society – taking active part in the performance, as opposed to our own time? we might be more democractic, but the audience is totally passive …


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