Wednesday, January 13, 2010

heaven wasn't made for us

or how anton checkov stole christmas.

catchy title, no? no?

alas, ben allen, artistic director of the blue room theatre said, 'i love historical dramas. unfortunately, most people today don't even recognize the name of freud.'

yes, we're a dying generation, and that's not all bad. in california last year most of the people under 35 voted against banning gay marriage. i thought, 'there's a reason people die.' you've heard, of course, that if flies didn't die the earth would be under eight feet of them within six months!

anyway, anton checkov, a russian playwright, established modern drama. and his director constantine stanislavsky used the plays to create modern acting. every movie, every tv show, is a result.

yes, yes, why should you care? i know, if it has nothing to do with you, to hell with it. it won't help me get a job. ah, but there you're wrong. it might. why?

the beauty of checkov plays: his characters respond to the weather, to the time of day, the seasons. in other words, the given circumstances. like most of us they are not movers and shakers. we'd rather draw a salary than start a business. true, this means we'll never get rich, but we can sleep at night.

what i'm saying is, all the good characters in checkov go with the flow. they marry the person next door (or not), they drift into this work or that. they're sensitive but not pro-active. and those who have drive turn out to be cads.

not very american, eh? we need a center of energy, a person or persons to make things happen. at the blue room theatre last night for a reading of

at least five people present who make things happen. this is what gives this theater vitality. damn rare, that.

and so, though the checkov characters create a lovely atmosphere (and that's charm of the plays), sensitive to every human and circumstantial shift, they're incredible maddening, letting the given circumstance push them this way and that.

alas, i'm one of those characters, having no idea why or how i've done what i have. here are pictures from jamaica which i scanned this morning as an example. what a strange and inexplicable trip it was.

in two weeks they will be reading checkov's three sisters at the blue room. hopefully, the lovely response to the weather will come through. despite the fact the personae never reach moscow. but i guess i've already said that.
ps. the pic above from checkov's own tiny theater in his moscow apartment.