Week 13 Prompt

Hey Molly,

The first thing I thought of as I was scrolling through to the first post of the blog was that you wrote a lot. But after reading the first few, I sensed your passion and genuine interest in forms of theater. I am struck by the depth and complexity of your thoughts and the formality of your language paired with such casual words as “bleh.”

I also see the clear distinction between analyzing theater form and culture. Your writing shows me that you think primarily in terms of theater form. It sounds more objective than my own, yet more passionate and grounded in theater. I probably sway too much towards cultural critique, but if theater acts to connect people, to make them feel, then if we ignore culture, who gets to feel? This is probably both a difference in perspective and a difference in thinking style.

Molly you literally filmed a scene drunk. That’s freaking spectacular.

Hell House. I think the coercion in Hell House cannot be entirely separated from what happens in more liberal theater. I think that although the ideology is different and maybe less popular, the mechanism is very similar. For example, more liberal shows are in effect trying to “coerce” audience members to think in certain ways as well, and maybe these are seen as less so because they are preaching to the choir.

I can really see the effort that you dedicated to this class. You thought (and still are thinking, I would assume) so deeply about all of your ideas. Most of this I commented on as I read, but I hope it sometimes makes sense. Through this assignment, I was mostly just trying to understand the way that you think. It actually baffles me (in the best way) how what you wrote, sometimes so different from the way that I was thinking of these ideas at the time, even occurred to you with the same source material. Sometimes it took me a little more effort to wrap my head around, but you think in such a creative and different way that inspires me. I understand some things a lot more after reading your blog posts. Litlitlitlitlit.

One thought on “Week 13 Prompt

  1. Hi Ruva, you gave Molly the best compliment where you understand the class differently (and maybe more) through reading via her perspective and understanding it in relation to your own. Molly was able to locate formal differences in genres of theater as well as gradations. When you discuss her Hell House essay in relation to your thinking about liberal proscenium-based theater, Molly indeed was able to locate the difference where the immersive quality took away perspectival agency from the spectator. And so careful attention to the mechanisms of theatrical forms makes a qualitative difference, where just the ability to look away or even get up and get out of the audience allows some breathing room in the otherwise claustrophobic and coercive environment of Hell House. The more specific about the effects of the formal elements you can be, the more you understand how theater can communicate an idea or create a feeling in the spectator. That comes less from content than from form (which is really the lesson of the class).

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