Current Production

Dream Date - a short play, & Reach For The Starrs - a short film

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Getting muddier

Man, that old expression sure is true. Time sure flies when you're under an inordinate amount of pressure to assure the high quality of every facet of a theatrical production as well as alert the public to its existence and convince them that they will somehow be enriched by their presence at said production, all in an extraordinarily minute time allotment. I'm not too worried. I do hope that people show up, however. I can't imagine performing this show to an empty house every night. Please help out and spread the word. If you are reading this, consider it a chain letter. If you approach 50 strangers and tell them to come see Mud, then good fortune will come your way. An angel will follow you for three days, pooping lollipops, or something of that nature. If you're on the Facebook, join the Doorman Actors Lab group. Go to the Mud Facebook event page and click that you'll attend, then send some invitations out. If you want some posters or postcards, or know somewhere to put them, holla. We're going to be doing some good work and I think it should be a positive contribution to the local theatre scene as well as initiate some dialogue regarding the style we are trying to promote. The trick is getting people there to see it.

Speaking of the local theatre scene, it has been a pretty active summer in Houston. This weekend sees the closing of Mildred's Umbrella production of Last Easter and Texas Repertory Theatre Company's Thoroughly Modern Millie. Also playing this weekend are The Catastrophic Theatre's Tamarie Cooper Show, The 10 x 10 festival at Country Playhouse, The Freneticore Fringe Festival, and the Bootown's Grown-Up Storytime on Tue. night. I'm sure I'm leaving someone out, and I'm not even mentioning the big kids. This is a huge, eclectic community of artists that Houston audiences are supporting. Granted, there could always be more support and it would be good to see more new faces in the audience and more crossing over of audiences. But there is a diversity present in the theatre community here that we should collectively celebrate; so many different theatres serving so many different audiences. I wish I had the time and the money to see everything, but alas, I have none of the former and little of the latter. I always get confused as to which is which on the former and latter thing, but it works either way.

I hope that there is room in this crowded collective for us to find a niche. Ideally, we want to produce shows that challenge audiences, but we don't want to drive them away. There was a time that I only wanted to do work so confrontational that the ultimate success would be to drive the audience to flee the theatre in indignation and rage. But where would it go from there? Unless one could come up with some ultimate message, one that an audience would only need to hear once and have their lives forever changed, what's the point in driving them away? It seems to be the equivalent of calling someone Nazis or Fascists in an argument: it ends the dialogue immediately and invalidates any point that follows. So it is a fine line that must be walked. Confront the audience, make them consider something they may not want to, but entice them to make the consideration.
Doorman is striving to work following the philosophy and ideas put forth by Howard Barker. Whereas many playwrights wish for a single shared, collective response from the audience, Barker believes a fragmented response is ideal. We shouldn't work to manipulate an audience. We should simply present the actions on the stage and let the observers take from it what they will.

"To chant together, to hum banal tunes together, is not collectivity."
-Howard Barker

Barker coined the term "Theatre of Catastrophe" for his brand of theatre and these are the principles we work with (unless we break them, in which case we probably meant it in an ironic way, which would violate the rules anyway unless we...forget it. We just admire the dude.) We hope to continue what Barker set forth as well as evolve with his ideas and develop our own tradition. If there is one thing I hope everyone takes from this it is this idea: come see our show. Seriously. I'll get you some Teddy-Grahams, and an EctoCooler. Just come. Rant over.


  1. "So it is a fine line that must be walked. Confront the audience, make them consider something they may not want to, but entice them to make the consideration."

    I'm battling this right now. Shit, I battle this always.

  2. I'd go with some penetration. That seems to work.