The Globe introduces us to a talented and entrepeneurial 22 year-old actress/director this morning.
I give her all the credit in the world. She creates her own opportunities and this is what theatre people should be doing.
But, as reader's of my blog know, I always am amazed at people's insistence on constantly reviving mediocre works. Here is a quote from Ms. Hammel:
"I really wanted to do this part and I didn't know anyone who was doing this play, so I decided to produce it myself," said Hammel, adding that she only recently realized that she's repeating her trick of founding a production to get a role."
The play is Neil Labute's The Shape of Things, and the part is Evelyn, the sexy grad student who seduces a hapless and dorky undergrad and does a kind of a Pygmalion on him. I like Neil Labute, but actually find his films far more interesting, artistic, and edgier than any of his dramas. Aside from the coup de theatre in the end of The Shape of Things, I always feel, when watching LaBute's plays, that there is no reason I couldn't get the same experience watching this same type of thing on a movie at home. (By the way, you can watch it at home.)
Though I think two local productions of Shape of Things in the last few years, (Speakeasy, and Theatrezone,) is quite enough, perhaps there is value here. Ms. Hammel is a young and connected actress and perhaps she can infuse a little interest into the local theatre scene by people of her own age.
She talks of wanting to interest "the parents" of the children she has in her theatre projects. I'll make a modest suggestion that she try to interest people of her age, also. That is the magic pill we are all looking for. Find out what they would like to see. I'm not that age, so maybe they would like to see Shape of Things.
With all of the talk in the blogosphere of business, theatre, and the like, this is refreshing. Let's just hope that she isn't seduced by the commercial theatre's idea of "edgy." And let's hope that her vision of a "lot more shows," succeeds.