I’m working this weekend on the August edition of Theatrefolk’s e-newsletter. (What? You didn’t know we had a newsletter? Well go to our home page and check out the link! Go on! Wait, do it after you read the blog!) It’s about Absurd Drama and The Theatre of the Absurd. It’s a genre that I love and am quite influenced by in my writing. I have this distinct memory of doing a presentation on Pinter’s The Birthday Party in high school and the whole class looking at me like I was from Mars.
And of course, I’ve read Waiting For Godot. What fascinates me about that play is how fanatical Beckett was, and his estate is, about the preservation of the text and how companies produce it. One side of me, applauds this. Darn right people should respect the work. There are too many people out there who don’t respect the texts they direct. But I know of a production of Godot that was denied permission because the director wanted to do one of the main characters in English, and the other in the original French. I have to say, that sounds pretty interesting to me. Is there a line between preservation and stifling?
So I’m working on this newsletter and I come to the realization that while I’ve read a lot of the plays in the genre, and I love them, I haven’t read a lot of material about the genre.
There are a lot of books and essays out there about The Theatre of the Absurd and I have to tell you – it’s really a total snooze fest. Very analytical. Pages and pages of dense text that make my brain hurt. Makes me want to bang my head on the keyboard repeatedly.
But there’s a newsletter to get done! So fine, I read the material, I’m going back through the plays, I come up with a couple of interesting articles, some interesting exercises for worksheets, I find an essay to review and just now I’ve outline the whole thing out.
I seriously looked at the outline and had to back slowly away from the computer. It’s a frightening amount of work for a weekend in the summer. I mean it’s nice outside. It’s hot but not humid. I could be strolling somewhere sipping a frou frou drink. There’s ice cream I could be eating. Do I really want to be spending my Saturday analyzing The Bald Soprano?
My immediate answer was to do something else. This blog! It’s sort of work related….oh fine, fine. I need to find a way to eat ice cream and type at the same time….