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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: April ::
Re: Community Theatre
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0705  Wednesday, 5 April 2000.

From:           Melissa D. Aaron <
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Date:           Tuesday, 04 Apr 2000 08:13:43 -0700
Subject: 11.0688 Re: Community Theatre
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0688 Re: Community Theatre

>I don't walk out on bad sets and costumes.  I walk out on bad acting and
>direction.  The best community theater I have seen pales when compared
>to the worst regional theater I have seen, and, again in my experience,
>the quality of theater is usually greater on Broadway and the West End
>than in the regions.  Having said that, I want to give credit to those
>who work so hard to put on a show, even a bad show.  I actually feel
>guilty for walking out lest I hurt their feelings.  On the other hand, I
>consider it a great sin to allow yourself to be bored, and my greater
>responsibility is to myself.

I really was planning on letting this topic go by, but--

I think some of the confusion may stem from what you'd call "community
theater."  I've seen good, bad and indifferent community theater.
Sometimes it's the actors and director that make the difference, but
sometimes it's the choice of play;  I adore Tennessee Williams but
always prepare myself for tortured Southern accents whenever I see
*Glass Menagerie,* whether it's a professional production or not.

I'm genuinely puzzled by your Broadway and West End experience, though;
my experience has been quite different, and suggests that often
productions on Broadway are expensive overproduced crowd pleasers and
also that much of the best stuff is either regional or off-Broadway in
its origins.  That's a generalization, of course; I wouldn't trade
having seen actors like Rex Harrison and Martin Shaw for the world; but
there's also Alec Baldwin as Macbeth to be reckoned with.

Finally, I wanted to mention that I recently saw a production of *Tis
Pity She's a Whore* at the Knightsbridge Theater in Pasadena,
California.  I saw this play years ago at the National, with a much
larger budget and I believe Rupert Graves as Giovanni.  Both productions
were good, but I actually thought the Knightsbridge one was better in
terms of its overall vision and grasp of the play.  If anyone is able to
go see it, go.

Melissa D. Aaron
 

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