Thursday, March 04, 2004

Time to test the waters

I’ve been avoiding talking about the arts for my first couple of posts because, honestly, the arts are important and I thought how I broached the subject would somehow set some sort of precedent and what not. But screw it, time to get the old feet wet.

I thought I’d talk a little bit about theater. The common questions asked all of the time are “is theater dead?” and “does theater matter?” I think it’s safe to say that both of these questions are totally useless. Just like how nothing is either good or bad but thinking makes it so, so is nothing important or unimportant except to the extent that we make it so.

Theater isn’t really important to most people right now because theater artists haven’t figured out how to make it important. It’s a tough uphill battle. Theater represents all sorts of things that fundamentally go against mainstream culture: it is intensely local and cannot be globalized, it is entirely subjective and can’t be commodified, etc. More on this later, I promise.

Anyway, I’m going to try to take on various issues affecting theater and some ideas about how to save it over the course of this blog. In the meantime, those of you who live in New York, I urge you to go check out an off or off-off Broadway play. I know people often don’t like off-off-Broadway, and I understand it. Off-off tends to be weirder, or at least more experimental, a lot of artists are still very much in the learning stage, much of it isn’t what one could call “good”, but it’s all usually $19 or less and you’ll see something that you can’t see anywhere else. Less than $20 for a unique experience ain’t so bad. And hey, check out a newspaper or TimeOut and you could maybe get a good recommendation.

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