Friday, September 21, 2007

men, women, and the androgyne

hi folks,

this time in town I went public. made it to four art history classes, two plays, and a movie. now, of course, arriving back at my post I'm entirely unsettled, especially being up at four-thirty a.m. and driving back. normally, I like to come the evening before to chill-out. no such luck today. luckily, it's supposed to rain tomorrow, maybe snow, and I'll be sitting in the clouds. afterwards, indian summer. this is the typical pattern.

why did I stay last night? well, I had to finish the triple-header, tho it was completely unplanned. let me start at the beginning.

tuesday nite at the university film series, 'the pillow book' a film by peter greenaway. I'd seen it before at the pageant, fascinated by the images. it's quite a visual feast, and of course has the camp atmosphere the director enjoys, with lots of bizarre twists. supposedly about a japanese/chinese woman who likes to write on men's skin, it's really about her androgyne lover played ewan mcgregor. once he dies, the film over, but it goes on for half an hour more on a revenge theme. it would have been more moving and just if it ended when the woman burns her books and the gay publisher turns his dead lover into a pillow book (I won't tell you how.)

wednesday nite I felt very honored to be the first person (perhaps) to see the the rogue theater's production of 'the pillowman' at the 1078 gallery (the 2nd dress before opening). frankly, I rather dreaded seeing this play, having read a summary of it on the web. it sounded really painful. but in the end it proved fascinating from the beginning and very moving at the end. true, I love this group of actor/artists and I am biased. when I see them live up to their potential, it brings tears to my eyes. see the show this week or next and judge for yourself. it is very much about men, their upbringing, their ambitions. I could certainly sympathize with the writer willing to be executed to save his manuscripts! ah, the follies.

thursday nite I decided I had to stay in town for my only chance to see 'doubt' at the blue room theater. I'm glad I did, though it's a very different kind of theater from the rogue (old blue room). the rogue is an actor's theater. over the years the actors in the group have learned to direct the action of the play as a whole and not just the actors moment to moment. this said, their actors work with a lot of freedom and force. it may be a bit messy at times, but it's always engrossing. the new blue room feels like a director's theater. this means the show has a drive and form firmly expressive of the director's hand. either form of theater can be brilliant or stupid. if the actors' theater has discipline, it can do wonders. if the directors in the director's theater have vision and skill, this kind of theater can knock you over.

to wrap it up: peter greenaway dealt with the androgyne, the rogue with men's issues and the blue room with women's. from these latter two I see a pattern emerging. this doesn't mean each can't deal with both sexes. however, it will be interesting watch the groups develop and their emphasis.

let's see if I can get some snow pics tomorrow.

best to you all,