Nov 1, 2007

Lights, Ephemera, Action

Playgoer pulls an incendiary quote from New York's Q&A with Rock 'n' Roll star Brian Cox about American theatre being too much like television, but this quote jumped out at me more:
Is there anything you've brought back to theater from your time in the movies?
The great thing about film is that it has a disposable element. You do it and it's done. That's a great thing to bring back to the theater, because sometimes it can get a bit precious. Just play it through, get rid of it. Don't play the grace notes, don't worry about them.

I think I know what he's talking about; from an actor's point of view, acting in film and TV is quicker and dirtier, less precious. (Most folks in postproduction, on the other hand, would probably not share this attitude; "grace notes" is what they're paid to worry about). But of course, from posterity's point of view, it's theater that is, if not "disposable," then certainly ephemeral, while it is film and television that, for better or worse, will always be with us, as much as we may wish the reverse were the case.

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