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Observations of an Orchestrated Catastrophe

Tekijä: Jenny Magnus

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioKeskustelut
2-5,254,281--
This is the invitation -- a kind of dare, really -- that Jenny Magnus proffers in "The Trips," probably one of her best known and most admired scripts.Note the imperative: there's something not so much commanding as compelling in the phrasing. It is a prompt not to interrogate but to collaborate. In this way, the artist and the audience will investigate together. Then look again: Ask me something hard. Let's make it challenging.And again: Ask me something secret, something dangerous. Let's chance exposure, chance vulnerability.Ask me something ambiguous -- let's be brave enough to complicate the question. In these plays, Magnus is asking us to meet her intelligence, her wit, the naked soul of her unknowables with our own because, in her work, the question is the quest.Like Brecht, she uses music, text, broad characters, very few props. Her people are curious and smart and very funny. They are always out on a limb, divulging something terribly embarrassing. They use a lot of words, or very few. Metaphors are often over-the-top, but particulars can be few. The fourth wall, when it's there, is just a flimsy film -- which means the performers who take on these stories must be experienced high-flyers, actors who know the consequences of working without a net.In Magnus' stories, characters have unexplained encounters that are so lively and absurd that it takes a moment to realize they are in pain. The pain is sometimes mysterious in origin, sometimes as sharp as a spear point, often uncomfortable to listen to. But it is also a deeply, deeply honest pain: stripped down, fearless in its emotional complexity, uncompromising in its directness and contradictions. "Sometimes we fuck things up beyond repair," Magnus says in "The Strange."In other words, what to do -- how do we go on with our lives -- when there's no mending the rupture or erasing the scar? Sure, we can learn to live with the consequences -- but not by surrendering to them, not by "accepting" them except to grapple mano a mano with them forever. There's just no rest for the lazy in these scripts. Here is the work of an artist as courageous as you'll ever experience. Here is the work of an artist timeless and true. Relish it.Achy ObejasOakland, California… (lisätietoja)
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

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This is the invitation -- a kind of dare, really -- that Jenny Magnus proffers in "The Trips," probably one of her best known and most admired scripts.Note the imperative: there's something not so much commanding as compelling in the phrasing. It is a prompt not to interrogate but to collaborate. In this way, the artist and the audience will investigate together. Then look again: Ask me something hard. Let's make it challenging.And again: Ask me something secret, something dangerous. Let's chance exposure, chance vulnerability.Ask me something ambiguous -- let's be brave enough to complicate the question. In these plays, Magnus is asking us to meet her intelligence, her wit, the naked soul of her unknowables with our own because, in her work, the question is the quest.Like Brecht, she uses music, text, broad characters, very few props. Her people are curious and smart and very funny. They are always out on a limb, divulging something terribly embarrassing. They use a lot of words, or very few. Metaphors are often over-the-top, but particulars can be few. The fourth wall, when it's there, is just a flimsy film -- which means the performers who take on these stories must be experienced high-flyers, actors who know the consequences of working without a net.In Magnus' stories, characters have unexplained encounters that are so lively and absurd that it takes a moment to realize they are in pain. The pain is sometimes mysterious in origin, sometimes as sharp as a spear point, often uncomfortable to listen to. But it is also a deeply, deeply honest pain: stripped down, fearless in its emotional complexity, uncompromising in its directness and contradictions. "Sometimes we fuck things up beyond repair," Magnus says in "The Strange."In other words, what to do -- how do we go on with our lives -- when there's no mending the rupture or erasing the scar? Sure, we can learn to live with the consequences -- but not by surrendering to them, not by "accepting" them except to grapple mano a mano with them forever. There's just no rest for the lazy in these scripts. Here is the work of an artist as courageous as you'll ever experience. Here is the work of an artist timeless and true. Relish it.Achy ObejasOakland, California

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