Conscious Action

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We attempt in vain to describe the character of a man; but a description of his actions and his deeds will create for us a picture of his character.
(Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)

Linger Longer Together

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A true revelation, I am convinced, can only emerge from stubborn concentration on a single problem. I have nothing in common with experimentalists, adventurers, with those who travel to strange regions. The surest, and the quickest, way for us to arouse a sense of wonder is to stare, unafraid, at a single object. Suddenly —miraculously — it will look like something we have never seen before. (Cesare Pavese)

a Carpenter or a Gardener; a Devil or a Cook

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The expression “the medium is the message,” coined by Canadian philosopher Marshall McLuhan, meant that the technology that we use embeds itself in any message that we receive. Later, feeling that the original phrase had become a cliché, McLuhan changed his tact and published a book entitled “The Medium is the Massage”.  He adopted the term “massage” referring to the effect that each medium has upon the human sensory system. We are literally massaged by our interactions with media, any kind of media.

Venetian Ruminations

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From now through April 2nd, you can catch SITI Company’s brand new production entitled Chess Match No. 5, Tuesdays through Sundays at the Abingdon Theater in midtown Manhattan. We hope that you will join us. 

In Praise of Doubt

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The political cataclysm that recently landed upon our collective heads is a dangerous call to attention but also an opportunity. We are currently facing a crisis in the guise of a future that may be considerably more hazardous than we can currently imagine. But imagination is exactly what is required. The crisis provides a unique occasion for us to re-evaluate our assumptions, adjust and engage in new ways. John F.

Disturbed Balance

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Every autumn I arrange two museum visits with my first-year Columbia MFA directing students. On November 9th we were scheduled to meet at 9:30 a.m. at the Museum of Modern Art on 54th street in Manhattan. But on November 9th the world into which I woke felt decidedly different. Actually, I did not really wake up into that day because I had not slept at all. Two hours before Hillary Clinton’s lead began its long descent, I began to feel catatonic. I sensed that something distressing was on the horizon.

The Ecstasy of the Privileged Moment

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On the evening of October 24th SITI Company will host a Noir Dinner, a fundraising event, in the wonderful restaurant known as the Library at the Public Theater where we will be honoring the brilliant duo Julie Taymor and Elliot Goldenthal. The event promises to be joyful and delicious and I have been working hard with the SITI Company actors on a fun and surprising entertainment. But we need your help to meet our goal; all money raised in support of the Noir Dinner stokes the fires of SITI Company and keeps us moving forward.

Shared Heat

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I recently saw a Polish production of King Lear at the Venice Biennale directed by Jan Klata. But Lear was missing. Literally. At first the character of Lear was represented by an empty chair and a recorded voice and later by various visual projections. What the audience did not know and what I learned later, is that the actor who had originated the role had died a few months earlier. Rather than finding another actor to take over the part, Klata decided to deal with the actor’s physical absence within the context of the production. But this choice failed.

Resonance

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I lost count of the times that I have entered a room to find my wife Rena weeping amidst objects or photographs from her past. I watch how she gently and lovingly holds the objects that had once been touched by a cherished family member or gazes longingly at the visages of her children peering out at her from fading color photographs. These artifacts create tremendous resonance in her body and serve as a stimulus to vast landscapes of emotion and memory within her.

The Usefulness of Dissatisfaction

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Ric Zank and his company, the Iowa Theater Lab exerted a significant influence on me as well as on many of my colleagues during the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. The work was physical, imagistic, emotional and, to me, unforgettable. During rehearsals for a new production of Moby Dick in 1975, the lead actor of the company, the brilliant and physically masterful George Kon who was playing the whale, grew increasingly aggravated and upset. At one point his frustration intensified and escalated to a point that he literally ran up a wall of the rehearsal hall.

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