The Playgoer: "Even Though It's a Play, It Doesn't Suck"

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Monday, July 23, 2007

"Even Though It's a Play, It Doesn't Suck"

So reads the ad copy for another weird theatre/event/party hybrid, Angry Young Women in Low Rise Jeans with High Class Issues.

The ad campaign is no doubt smart. But still tellingly sad, if that's the only way to attract young audiences.

Then again, they are explicitly pitching to the Bachelorette Party crowd.


Anonymous said...

It is telling . . .

I've had people pretty much say the same thing to me after my shows . . . they say "even though it was a play, I really loved it!"

And actually, I've had plays looked down upon by theatre play-pickers, dismissed as "too much today, too much like a movie, too much like TV" as if any of the above, reflecting the present or the issues addressed in other mediums, means it can't be a play.

It's that disconnect that's hurting us so much with audiences and talent alike . . .

That's my opinion, anyway.

Freeman said...

Did you read Time Out NY's review of the show? Wonderful.

George Hunka said...

It's indicative of the unconscious self-loathing that this ironic, sarcastic means of marketing one's art represents. Though I doubt they'd call it art, unless they could undermine that designation too.

Playgoer said...

Thanks, Freeman, for the tip on Feldman's takedown in Time Out. When he says the tag line is "a false claim on both counts" it's worth spelling out what he means--it's NOt a play and it DOES suck. Dare I suggest it may suck more than many plays???

I believe that even calling something like this a "play" only helps foster the impression among the young that plays DO suck. If only we could convince them this isn't one.

Anonymous said...

Why do we care so much that young people might not enjoy theater??
Since when is their age some inherent virtue, and to be prized above intelligence, culture, or sophistication? Don't we already spend too much energy in this business trying to convince people to like us?

I think we have been conditioned to believe it is a drag for the curtain to open and stare out at a sea of "blue hairs." But the fact is we are staring out at people who want to attend the theater and who place some value upon supporting our work. Why can't we be grateful for that?

And yes, young people do see theater. They may not attend at places where they wind up on a mailing list when they walk through the door. And the (cheap) price of admission may include a drink minimum. But they go (you'd be surprised at how many blue hairs go there too).

There are 45,000 members in Actors Equity, and probably scores more non-Eqs. Most non-Eqs are surely very young. People who do theater see theater, and their friends come to see them. That is the way it has always been. We've been doing this thing for 5,000 years... the absence of a few sophomores isn't going to starve it off.

Sorry for the long post. I felt it had to be said. Thanks.