The big event of this week – heading up to see our son, 150 miles away, where he is the technical director for the theatre department of a college – and it just happens to be the same college he graduated from. That makes this rather special, as far as Wilma and I are concerned.
He graduated in December of 2010 (a half-year early —- THAT’S MY BOY!!!) and immediately got work out in Ithaca, New York, then in Syracuse, NY, then back to Ithaca, then out to a theatre in Colorado Springs, and now to his alma mater. He’s done a great many things in theatre in those different venues – mostly building sets, and finally getting to do some designing at this present gig.
So Sunday morning, we jumped in the van and drove our way there – got there just in time to meet him and his girlfriend (who is also a theatre geek) for a nice brunch in a small Italian restaurant… unusual for a Sunday noon lunch, but it was fine … They took off to their duties at their different theatres (him to his job, her to a local small theatre that had hired her as stage manager….) and we killed some time at the mall – Wilma has a penchant – almost an addiction – to kitchen stores. She bought a gizmo that slices and dices and stores garlic. I spent no money – which is a bonus for me.
Then to the play. Our son wasn’t even there – the show had been running for two weekends now, and this was the closing performance. I don’t want to get into a review of the actual production – that’s not necessary here, but I would like to discuss the type of show they did, and maybe a little of the script itself.
Three words, folks – contemporary social theatre. Hot topics like family tension, abuse, homosexuality, lesbianism, unwed pregnancy, suicide… In this particular play, all these topics were present in more than just a passing thought…. This kind of theatre is not happy, not joyous. I am not a big fan of this style == and that’s my own thing, you certainly may find it worthy, but I find it rather fruitless.
As the play continued, each character had a chance to — well, yes, — BITCH about how tough they had it, how their situation was all someone else’s fault. This is okay in theatre, but I merely prefer some learning to come out of such strife… and at first, it looked like this play wasn’t going to get there. At the end, there was a bit of hope, a bit of resolution, but it certainly was overshadowed by the topics and how those topics were handled.
I guess I look for theatre to be uplifting, one way or another – either through a good story and script, or through a fine performance, or both… Yes, life has its drama, but to condense it so much into one plot line is a bit much for me… the key phrase being ‘for me’, since I realize others feel differently – and there will be those who would take me to task – and that’s fine, too.
So much for contemporary social theatre. And now for the more mundane.
I have a request. If you have any pull with the bowling gods out there, tell them to lay the heck off this guy. Two weeks ago, I had the worst week of the year. Last week, I did worse than that. I look to go into tomorrow’s three games with a better mindset, aiming for relaxing, for controlling my speed approaching the lane, and over thinking technique.
I can only hope…..