skbrownell

Trojan Women thinks big, remains distant.

SITI Company’s Trojan Women (After Euripides) aims high and lands low as in its discussion of blame and cyclicality in violence. The play presents the trials of the women of Troy and Astyanax, the baby prince, now all slaves to the Greeks. Amidst criticism that “nothing happens,” the women of Troy do find small ways […]

Week of Geek: A Critique of Geek

I’m not sad to say that geek theatre has a little bit taken over our blog for this week (or will have by the time I’m through, mwahahaha) in the form of She Kills Monsters. I guess it hit a nerve. Stuff to know about me: Tolkien is my “one person dead or alive.” Fan […]

Phone Homer On The Boards

Michelle Ellsworth’s Phone Homer, available on OnTheBoards.TV, is a detailed attempt to confront the housewife panic of the Internet age. Ellsworth’s reimagining of The Illiad does less to freshen the story than her incorporation of technology. While the feminist Greek myth has been done and the unraveling abandoned wife has become a trope, Ellsworth brings […]

Tired of People Blobs

Throughout the semester in Contemporary Drama we have dealt with plays that grapple with ideas of race—ghosts, stereotypes, truths—but if, as August Wilson asserts in The Ground on which I Stand, “there is no idea that cannot be contained by black life,” can we not begin to read plays about black people—or red-yellow-purple people—that have […]

Conceptualizing – or Combatting – Gender

It’s been a rough couple of weeks. Steubenville to start. And I’ve been confronted by an outpouring of feeling surrounding this case and, more broadly, an internet rising of anti-hate messages for many groups. But then there’s things like this: which popped up in my facebook feed with comment “IT’S RAPING TIME.” this week. So […]

Writing about People Redux: Critiques and more

I was speaking to a poet friend of mine the other day who noted that workshops can be difficult when poems are autobiographical, which she noted is most of the time. When poets know each other well, autobiography is evident and it becomes difficult to critique a person’s work without feeling that you are critiquing […]

Writing takes discipline… and other things

In a March 3rd HowlRound article, Polly Carl discusses the issues of normative structures in our jobs, schools, art based on Foucault’s notion of docile bodies. (You had me at Foucault.) I am reminded of an undergraduate professor who explained education as colonialism of the mind. Though I’m currently a student in a really awesome […]

Théâtre, Translation: World

There’s the old joke: What do you call someone who speaks two languages? Bilingual. Three? Trilingual. One? American. Well, I have a little background with language. I speak it sometimes. I don’t claim to be bilingual, but my sensibilities have been shaped by French language and culture since I was twelve. When I was a […]

Scary Stories

This week I asked my Intro to Creative Writing students to read Marsha Norman’s lecture on Story. Why? Because last winter I was looking for articles to assign and this one meantsomething to me and I was hoping it would mean something to them. Or, as I tellthem, “This week, we’re talking about story.” Regardless of […]

Ageism/Reverse-Ageism/…Anti…Ageism?

In this recent article in The Guardian, Lyn Gardner discusses director Jonathan Miller’s assertion that the theatre biz is ageist, what with that pesky “myth of young genius.” I haven’t noticed anyone calling me a genius, but I have noticed an uptick in discussions about age in the theatre. I’m talking youth. RE: David Mamet’s […]

Writing about People

Over the past few weeks I’ve been reading a lot of one-person plays. Okay, I’m taking a class. I’ve been learning a lot about the lives of Mark Twain, Emily Dickinson, Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, and Golda Meir. These are plays that dig into the life of a person—dig. Particularly striking of these for me was […]

You for Me for Us

Mia Chung’s You for Me for You, a New England premiere presented by Company One, imagines the cost of the Crossing from North Korea to the Unites States for two sisters who have only each other left to lose. The play captivates from the opening scene as, with measured movements and without fear of silence, […]

How (or Why) to Hammer a World

In the past few weeks I’ve come across a number of articles from various sources presenting intersecting viewpoints. Melissa Hillman has noticed a trend among emerging female playwrights towards passive female characters who continue to support male-driven stories. She suggests that cultural mores teach women to be passive and women therefore identify the passive role as true-to […]