Wednesday, January 28, 2009


(painting from Uncover Austin Magazine)

There are just days when I want to poke my own eyes out
--yeah, I know, suiting.

So I am designing Oedipus for MCC here in Mesa and well, I have a slight resignation about it. I am not totally in love with the concept laid out for the designers. Call me a traditionalist but I feel that some plays should not be messed with very much--you know, "let's not take it so far out of reality that we alienate our current demographic". However, this concept--if marketed correctly--will bring in a whole new demographic and that is great, but this is also why I am hesitant. I worry about how it will be marketed.

Firstly, the concept is...wait for it..."post apocalyptic sadomasochism". Shocker, right? Everyone and their pet cat has done this and Julie Tamor has done it better, thank you very much. Don't get me wrong, I can do this. It is not beyond my capabilities just beyond my logical understanding? I am not sure how this will further the plot. Yes, elements of the concept will serve to further the plot but has the director pushed it too far? Not only do we have fetish wear but huge body tattoos as well. What purpose does it serve if the show looks "cool" but the audience fails to understand the message? I am not saying that it should not have been set in another time period, only that perhaps the concept should have been reined in just a smidge.

Really ROUGH sketches for Creon and the chorus priestesses

Secondly, what is this young director trying to prove? "Hey look at what I can do? Isn't it the coolest thing since the internet?" Maybe. I am well aware that educational theatre is allowed to experiment because the funding is more stable that that of independent theatres but there are still funds attached based on the monetary numbers of the house and needs of the department. When the deciding committees get together and figure out what plays to perform the following season, they do it with a budget in mind. The smaller the buget the smaller the concept? Perhaps. Great shows have been done on limited bugets with great success but will this be one of them? I do not know the answer to that..I wish I did.

Where's Alice when you need her? LOL


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