And the JULY WOWIE goes to:
All this month’s entries were . . . umm . . . interesting. I toiled long and hard over the quality of your submissions in order to boiled them down to the winner and two runners up.
The judging was done with utmost care—much like the judging of your scripts that you sent out with loving care and sometimes a fee. Just like that. Judging is a serious business. It is determined by many factors such as:
1.) How hot it is. Those read on one of our three digits days here in Colorado didn’t fair too well. Sorry. It may have been the best, but on a 102 degree day best just isn’t good enough!
2.) What I had for breakfast. Sometimes corned beef hash gives me gas. If I read your entry on a corned beef day, sorry—you lost.
3.) What side of the bed I got out of. Since my bed is against a wall I can only get out on one side. I think it may be the wrong side since I’m irritable to one degree or another every day of the week.
Those are only the top three variables. Since last count, there are 17 others. These are the typical circumstances that all those reading your scripts, paid fee or not, operate under. Believe it or not. Though I’d believe it since it should be considered when receiving a rejection. It’s not personal, it’s the corned beef hash.
Therefore, I am ready to announce the winners! The author of the winning entry will have their choice of one of the following hardcover books mailed to them. Just send me via PM or email your mailing address. Here are your choices:
1.) Racing Demon by David Hare
2.) The Speed of Darkness by Steve Tesich
3.) Beyond Therapy by Christopher Durang
4.) My Children, My Africa! By Athol Fugard
5.) Arcadia by Tom Stoppard
6.) Thor’s Day, the DVD of my homoerotic play digitally filmed over a seven-week Off-Off B’way run at Wings Theatre in NYC. This is not a play for everybody, so I caution you to read some of the reviews on my website if you think you might be interested in this prize.
And now <drum roll> the envelope please!
THIRD PLACE goes to LEON:
I think theatre is important to our culture ‘cause it bridges the gaps that separate all of us. Politics, religion, social norms all put us in different bins. We are here, and they are there. Through theatre do we recognize that we are all the same. It's kind of a dirty trick. One goes to the theatre to see stories about different people, sometimes from different countries and of different eras -- and always recognizes the humanity that makes us one.
What sold me was Leon’s statement concerning Theatre’s ability to recognize the humanity that makes us one. A great thought.
SECOND PLACE goes to EMJAYDEE:
Theatre is a chameleon. The essential shape remains, while the texture and hue change with each performance, each player, and each interpretation.
A moment in film may be replayed over and over; a moment in theatre relies on the power of our emotional memories to recall it over and over. Thus it becomes more powerful and more intense the farther we are removed from it.
What sold me was Emjaydee’s evocative statement, “. . . a moment in theatre relies on the power of our emotional memories . . . ”
And the WINNER of the July ’06 WOWIE goes to BROGAN:
Since the days of huddling to the fire to hear the stories of the elders, through the movement on the thrashing floor of ancient Greece to the Grand Manner of the proscenium stage, mankind has learned by the telling. What we do in theatre has been a matter of survival by example. We seek to entertain and with most considered thought present our own romantic notions of the world. We share our visions of social norms while considering greater questions. We give examples of love, hate, fear and despair. We try in our own way to show the living how we live and care. The theatre teaches us of how and of who. How will this one cope and how does that one live? As fabricated as our toil might be we try to give truth to the words and the actions with attention to the flow and how it will play. Between the tasks of entertaining and teaching we forge a little life from an idea born from surviving the human condition. The comments, sighs and tears of our patrons give evidence of the work. Whether in a grand manner or a passing thought, if those in attendance have found cause to relate to our story in its telling, the purpose of what we call theatre has been achieved. Be it set in the past present or future, our precious audience has identified with the lives and living or others. Through the theatre we seek to not only present how we have survived but, how it felt. Without such identification the survival of any society or culture is at risk.
When I read, “Through the theatre we seek to not only present how we have survived, but how it felt,” the WOW factor kicked in.
The rest of the essays in no particular order:
The most important reason theatre is important to our culture is that it provides an excuse for retaining a British spelling otherwise fallen into neglect. When we go to the theatre and find ourselves in the immediate physical and emotional vicinity of actours, we have made a commitment not available at movie theaters with screen stars. This makes us realise that the Atlantic Ocean may be deep but isn't all that wide.
In case you didn't know it, ol' Edd here is trying to pull a fast one on ya'll with his trick question. See, the ASSumption behind it is that theatre is important. I'm here to tell you the truth with a capitol UTH: THEATRE AIN'T IMPORTANT. Can it dig you a ditch? Put money in your pocket? Beer in your belly? A beautiful woman in your bed? Hell, no--it can't do none o' them things, so it ain't important. As a matter of fact, the sooner off we recognize that theatre and all that other artsy-fartsy shit ain't important, the sooner off we'll be making this country a better place to live in. You take all the money being funnelled into that National Endowment for the Friggin' Arts and other such crap like that and you put it where it's needed most--the Defense Budget--and then you'll be seeing America at its best. Old Abe Lincoln didn't say "Talk softly and go see a play," did he? No--he told us we had to carry a big stick. Come to think of it, that's probably just what's wrong with Edd and his compadres in the theatre world--they ain't got big enough sticks. Now, my wife, she claims she likes theatre for the little critters, when they get all dolled up and prance around for the parents so they can snap their pictures and ooh and ah when they forget their lines. Well, I guess that ain't so bad, but I'll tell you what. If a boy of mine come to me any time past age five and said, Daddy, I need the theatre in my life or some other such horseshit, I'll tell you something right here and now. I'd give him the three things he needs for a true education in this country: a Bible, a Budweiser, a subscription to Penthouse and a swift kick in the ass. So, just so's you know, Edd, there's at least one American here knows what you're up to with your question, and he ain't falling for it. Amen.
P.S. If you're wondering what I'm doing writing under Alan's name, I'm his twin brother, Bubba. The family and me been spying on him 'cause of all his talk lately about the importance of art. I'll be reporting back to them all about this place, I'll tell you that. And don't go getting your panties in a twist over me spying. Just like our President says, sometimes you got to spy on people who are too dumb to know they need spying on. Amen again and Hallellujah.
George W Bush says…..Theatre is important to our culture because………
Theatering is a good and decent way to spend time with your family and also those you love. And by theatreing I mean of course family value plays. And by family value plays, I don’t just mean the two adult and two children discounterated tickets. I mean plays with a truly moral message. And by truly moral message I mean a Christian message. And by Christian message I mean a neo conservative Christian message. One of love, peace and the tolerizing of other peoples opinions, no matter how distasteful or absurd, as long of course as they still afirm the creationist theory. But most of all the theatre stands as a beacon of hope, as one of the few areas of our culture not to have been touched by the godless hand of the homosexual. Goodnight and God bless…………..sorry,……..Wilde was a what!!
Theatre is important, because it is the only ‘art form’ that represents what we see in our lives – life. I can see the same production as you, but I won’t see the same play, unless I went on the same night as you, with the same cast/director/producer et al. And as in all forms of life, it needs an opportunity to grow. Playwrights need the opportunity to evolve, as do actors, as to directors… Here, we have the chance to witness evolution in real time.
Just my 2 cents.