Friday, October 18, 2013

The Drama of a Dress

Some Thoughts After Seeing Love, Loss and What I Wore

We complain when the media focuses on what a woman wears, instead of on what she says We probably know more about Hilary Clinton’s choice of pant suits than about her specific political positions. Yet we flock to see a show that is about the clothes we wear and have worn through out our lives.

That’s what Love, Loss and What I Wore, described as an intimate collection of stories by Nora Ephron and Delia Ephron , based on the book by Ilene Beckerman, which closed recently after a successful run at the Philadelphia Theater Company at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre in Philadelphia is about. The play, staged like a reading - five women seated on stools with only a few drawings on an easel to illustrate some of the fashions mentioned - manages nevertheless to evoke memories in the audience composed mostly of women, even on a Friday evening, of our own experiences with fashion over the years. 

Where Do New Plays Come From?

PlayPenn the new play development conference at the Adrianne Theatre just put out a new call for scripts for next summer’s conference and that got me thinking about where art comes from, particularly what we regard as new art. And what is that anyway?

Does new art break free of the constraints of the old and familiar art forms, tackle new subjects, force us to see ourselves in new ways? Or is it simply a subtle reworking of what we already know with just a bit more technical razzmatazz? In talking about plays, in particular, does it break new ground covering topics formerly taboo, or does it dazzle us with stagecraft that we've never seen before, engaging the audience in the experience. And does new work come from traditional theater sources, from regional theaters, from Fringe festivals, or is it right here in our own backyard?