The other day Fiona and I were talking about Trout Stanley and the weight of thesis. Sometimes it’s easy to get bogged down by the details and start spinning off unnecessary energy and ideas. Fiona said her advisor asked her, “why did you chose this play in the first place?” And then it struck me. With my thesis opening in a week, it would be nice to remind myself why I chose this play in the first place and what it did to me.
Reasons why I chose Trout Stanley in no particular order…
1.) The depth of human experience and emotion these characters have is almost unparalleled to anything else I’ve ever read. They experience the largest universes in the most confided spaces. As Trout says, “we’re always seein’ everything. No matter where we are. Even if it’s sittin’ on a sofa starin’ at a wall, it’s still life, an’ we know to never take our eyes off it.” All three of them remind me every day to remain alert and willing to learn from the smallest of things.
2.) All three of them are highly flawed individuals—one is a liar, one is a murderer, and the other is what some would call “peculiar” (if they were being nice). And yet there is little to no judgement between the three of them. They accept and understand each other fully. They take everything, the good, the bad, and the fucked up, and say, “YES I WANT THAT.” In my opinion, this is the fullest definition of love.
3.) The play touches a little part of my soul that is indescribable. The literal plot and facts of the play are not important because it is doing something greater than that. It is taking the literal and fucking with it; the play makes the intangible come to life.
4.) It is a challenge. It is hyper stylized and calls for an extremely specific world. If we do not serve this world, we do not serve this text.
5.) They are all searching for a sense of purpose, and as a senior about to graduate, (and as a human existing in the world) I relate deeply to that search.
6.) It is gritty. It is gritty as fuck. There is blood, dirt, and orgasms. Need I say more?
7.) They talk about snails making love as the most heighted form of deep devotion. And LOOK