Maybe 99Seats and I should just start a blog together, given that we link to each other all the damn time. We're like the Scott Walters and Tom Laughlin of New York! This post is no exception. Awhile ago (I actually wrote notes for this post on Sunday and I'm only getting to write it up now), 99 wrote the following:
"Theatricality" is the buzzword for a lot of this. And it, usually, just means weird shit. Something rises unexpectedly out of the floor. Characters have odd physical traits or behave irrationally. I'm a big, big fan of Sarah Ruhl's work and I loved Eurydice, absolutely. That work is the pinnacle of what theatres are looking for right now. Somebody who saw it explain to me what the Three Stones were doing in it. Seriously. Beyond being a chorus, a stylistic element, what purpose did they serve? I think that's what Rebeck is talking about. When plot and story was king, it didn't really mean plays were less experimental or weird.
So that got me thinking... what do I mean when I talk about theatrical? Because I think 99 is right, sometimes it means a shorthand for weird shit happening. I would argue that people tend to use it to mean more specifically exciting weird shit, but that's neither here nor there. It is important, however, for us to be clear about our own personal definitions and usages of these words... so what the heck do I mean when I throw around this oft-used buzzword?