Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Objective of Theatre


Contributed by Guest Blogger of the week, Jeff Riebe.

Greetings once again.

As I summon what little I actually know about the local theatre scene in Minneapolis, I can't help but miss the NY scene tremendously, but I digress.

I continue to be impressed with The Guthrie (as you may have surmised per my last post). I've had the opportunity to meet other local theatre companies and actors. Their aims and aspirations are as ambitious as anyone, or any company, in this business.

As I mentioned, I'm employed (at least that's the terminology the use) with Interact. It’s a theatre company configured of people with physical and/or mental disabilities. Led by 'normal' peeps, whom it has been enjoyable to get to know. They're all, most of them anyway, artists in their own right. Locally. A few internationally. (Their generosity makes me think of the NY scene.)

I venture now into familiar, yet foreign, territory. That being producing, here in MN.

I am getting an inside look at putting a play on its feet, again. My involvement with Interact has been on the production side of things. The mounting (lately, a foreign concept to me) of a play remains a task involving many aspects. What's becoming apparent is that regardless of the when/where or with whom a play is put on, the objective is still for the piece to tell the story as artistically and truthfully as is possible.

We're in the midst of creating a spring production titled The Medicine Show. It is a play with music, which is also being written. I, as of this writing, really know so little about the details of this piece that it would be unfair to comment. That said, I can say that the people involved in producing/directing this play for Interact are committed to it being the best it can be. There's really no ego-trips involved. It's simply about telling a story.

Aside from my work with Interact, in my downtime (thankfully lacking), I've begun a book retelling my experience. My experience. I'm also being urged to write a script. For stage or screen TBD. Haven't exactly figured out how best to move forward with it, but the Minneapolis people (those that are aware of my book anyway) are doing what they do to inspire me.

You may have figured it out that I think about NY endlessly. Know that you are at the center of theatre life (in the US anyhow) and to not forget how fortunate you are to be there. It's really apparent to me however that theater is ultimately the same to produce wherever you are.

More to follow...


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