I got up at 8:30am. It's 1:40am now. We're getting up in the morning at meeting at 9am at Cracker Barrel. Awesome.
So ... let's see I'll talk about what I liked first.
I just re-read Sovereignty by Rolin Jones, his ten-minute from last year. It's 6.5 pages and he accomplishes more in that space than a lot of plays spend 120 pages to not accomplish.
Split-Strike by Naomi Izuka was tonight. I really dug it a lot. After re-examining it later, I think the production may have more merit than the play, but I definitely enjoyed watching it. There were several moments when I said "sweet" to myself and I was talking about the playwright's choices of structure and plot. Which is kind of odd, considering how many holes we found in it later.
We've been talking some this weekend about what we look for in plays. Some people want solid characterization, some are interested in the dramatic action, some the plot, some the production elements. Myself, I like stuff that's new in some way, and stuff that rocks. Strike-slip rocked in a lot of ways. I loved their use of the space, which I won't give away here. I loved a lot of the directorial choices. The sound design was mostly great. I also enjoyed most of the acting. I liked the way the play came together and I liked some the choices Izuka made about what not to address.
As I said, later on, we picked a lot of wholes in the script, but that didn't really diminish how much enjoyed watching the production.
On to the other one we saw today, When Something Wonderful Ends by Sherry Kramer. Hmmmm ... This was a really odd beast. It really seemed like two plays to me, that she's not quite meshed as of yet. One was about oil and the U.S.'s foreign policy regarding the Middle East. The other was about Barbie and the death of the playwright's mother.
Now, full disclosure, and I'm not sure how these things affected my experience of the play. 1) The playwright was in the room. 2) She's a teacher of our friends from Iowa.
Beyond the split-personality thing, the play was burdened by a lot of bad choices. Bad casting and a really bad director. The set made little sense, there was a major technical element that didn't fit. Also, there was NO sound design.
Though, in the end, I enjoyed watching a lot of it, I definitely thought it was very poorly done. As many times as I laughed or smiled, I said to myself "what the fuck?" or something similar. Basically, I liked all the stuff about oil and Iran and some of the stuff about making the world better, but not much of the other half of it. And talking afterwards, especially with Sean, it seemed that a lot of the problems had fairly obvious solutions.
We also got to see about an hour of a rehearsal for Batch today, and that made me really want to see it. So, I'm gonna work on that.
Also, I keep forgetting to mention. I'm working on a Theatre Blog Aggregator. I call it Theatreforte. It'll be awesome, if I ever finish, and if I can find more good blogs. There aren't that many, unfortunately. At least, not as many as I thought there'd be. Alas.