If you subscribe to theatre-related blogs, then your feed-reader during the past week or so will be overflowing with posts where the words ‘Outrageous Fortune’ will almost certainly appear. It’s the title of a new book on the state of American playwrighting, and it’s getting the best kind of publicity on the web – the free sort – for its authors Todd London, Ben Pesner, and Zannie Giraud Voss. Linked to Outrageous Fortune‘s contents, and extending the ongoing discussion into the state of play of contemporary US theatre, is a report by another American critic, Terry Teachout – more on this below.
There are plenty of complaints in the back and forth generated by Outrageous Fortune. The book claims contemporary ‘institutional theatre’ in the US – the system – is broken; it is certainly not playing fair with its own writers. Why not? The same plays – not all by fellow Americans – are being produced over and over again, and the business of keeping companies open for business has virtually imposed a ‘safe’ production environment for theatre managements. The result is that not enough new work by contemporary American dramatists is appearing on US stages. Continue reading “Hold the slings and arrows: stocktaking Queensland theatre (Act 1)”
This post gets a lot of hits, and I puzzled over it for awhile. I then realised it’s because of the Shakespearean quote which is the title. So for all of you who have come here expecting to find more about the muse of fire, here’s some info to get you surfing on.
The quote is from the Prologue of Shakespeare’s Henry V. It is spoken by the Chorus, who wants the audience to let the actors work on their ‘imaginary forces.’ He asks the audience to put their imaginations to work, to pretend that the events of the play are happening before them … to ‘hear’ and ‘see’ and ‘feel’ things that are being spoken about. It’s Shakespeare speaking to us about the role of imagination in the Elizabethan theatre where the key ingredient was the spoken word.
And wanting a ‘muse of fire’? The Chorus is wishing to be inspired by the right kind of fiery passion to tell the story well. It’s something any actor today can relate to.
And here is the rest of my original post … I was using the quote as a shorthand way of saying ‘O I wish I had the words to tell you how I felt …’ I used pictures instead, thinking of another quote which goes ‘A picture is worth 1,000 words.’ (not Shakespeare) …
Groundling is back and refreshed and ready to go. What a splendid summer that was up there in Europe.
I’ll begin at the beginning with a picture or two that tell their own story about another beginning. Anyone who loves theatre will, I hope, relate to the images.
There are more on my Flickr set of those magical days in Greece and Turkey.