Thursday, September 24, 2009

If Arthur Miller were to write the Crucible today?

A Marketing Blurb:

"Katie, a semi-successful chick lit author, is researching a non-fiction book about the Salem witch trials - a book her ex-husband manager assures her is a loser. Suddenly, she is thrust into the spotlight when an evangelical Christian group targets her last book. Katie finds herself in a modern day crucible as she has an affair with her publisher and deals with her sudden, unwanted celebrity.

We see flashbacks to the actual Salem Witch trials. And then, history and present day merge when John Proctor, Reverend Hale and Tituba show up to interact with Katie and give her advice on love, writing and character. But when seductive Abigail arrives, and won't leave, the fire-works are really going to start!

This world premiere probes the heart of hypocrisy, celebrity, and how listening to the past can bring havoc on your present, but maybe, just maybe, help you to navigate the future! "


Jordan said...

This is dead on, Art. About half the plays I have tried to market have that bizarre meta-intelligentsia-back-to-the-future-ghost-show-thing-with-SEX going on. Did we mention there's SEX!?

Art, please keep doing this for other shows! Maybe 2 more and you'll have covered all the contemporary tropes.

Ian Thal said...

I'm all for going meta- when it adds something to the story. Does this particular meta-theatrical retelling of The Crucible add a level of meaning that can't be arrived at simply by staging a new production of the Arthur Miller play at a particular point in time?

If it does, (and I'm not in a position that says it doesn't) then I'm all for it.

Art said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Art said...

Hi Ian,

I should point out that this is a parody that I wrote coming out of a discussion on Rob Kozlowski's blog.

Interesting enough, the very point you bring up was the subject. Does the chosen structure of the play serve any purpose?

Ian Thal said...

Hi Art,

Could you post the URL for that discussion?

Yes, I do think that play structure (possibly the most fundamental aspect of dramaturgy) serves a purpose beyond simply deciding when the actors get a chance for a bathroom break or give the techies some time to make a set change.

I don't really have a theory of play structure, but I would intuit that there's more to popularity of one structure or another amongst a given generation of playwrights than it simply being à la mode.

Even though my greatest claim to fame (or notoriety) is very publicly criticizing the politics of Bread and Puppet Theatre shortly after I stopped working with them, I have to say that part of Peter Schumann's genius is a deliberate playfulness with the conventions of structure that most playwrights and directors seem to accept with little question.