MAGICAL OBJECTS with Sherry Kramer
Tuesday, May 23rd, 7-9 PM CDT
Sliding scale $15-$40
There is a great difference between a prop and an object on stage that is built or filled with the dramatic forces of a play. Such objects become metaphors, they become fresh comprehensions of the world. In the theatre, we believe in magic. Our gaze is focused on ordinary objects…a glass figurine, a pair of shoes, a wedding dress…and then our attention is shaped, and charged, and we watch the everyday grow in meaning and power. Most of our greatest plays, written by our most poetic playwrights, contain a visual metaphor, an object with metaphorical weight that we can see on stage, not just in our mind’s eye.
How do we make the ordinary into the extraordinary? How do we create something that can carry meaning across the stage, into the audience and then out of the theatre, all the way home, and into the lives of these strangers who come to sit together in the dark? How do we generate a magical object on stage?
It will help if you have more than a passing relationship with A Streetcar Named Desire, The Piano Lesson, and Buried Child, but if you don’t you’ll still do okay.
SHERRY KRAMER has written about our role in destabilizing the Middle East over oil (When Something Wonderful Ends), the rise of a populist demagogue in the heartland and Anti-Semitism (Ivanhoe, MO), the power of the press to distort the shape of a nation’s soul (The Ruling Passion), and two plays about America’s relationship with money and philanthropy (How Water Behaves and The Bay of Fundy: An Adaptation of One Line from the Mayor of Casterbridge.). These plays invite their audience to find new ways to understand who we are as a nation, and how we might find our way back to being the generous, fair-minded people we believe ourselves to be.
Other plays include: Three Quarter Inches of Sky, David’s RedHaired Death (The Jane Chambers Award), What a Man Weighs (Weissberger Playwriting Award, New York Drama League Award, The Marvin Taylor Playwriting Award), A Thing of Beauty, Cake, Things That Break, The World at Absolute Zero, The Mad Master (ASK commission), The Long Arms of Jupiter (a croquet performance piece), Partial Objects, The Law Makes Evening Fall, The Middle of the Day, A Permanent Signal, The Release of a Live Performance, The Master and Margarita (a singing-theatre adaptation with composer Margaret Pine), Nano and Nicki in Boca Raton, Napoleon’s China (music theatre piece with Ann Haskell and Rebecca Newton), and About Spontaneous Combustion.
Kramer is the recipient of an NEA, a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, a McKnight National Fellowship, and commissions from the Audrey Skirball-Kenis Theatre Project and the Moscow Art Theatre/UI International Writers Program. Her plays have been produced here and abroad and include productions at Actors Theatre of Louisville’s Humana Festival, Yale Repertory Theatre, The Second Stage, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Soho Repertory Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Seattle’s Annex Theatre, InterAct Theatre, the Theatre of the First Amendment, and the Tokyo International Arts Festival, RedThen/Rude Fusion Rude Mechs.
Her book, WRITING FOR STAGE AND SCREEN: CREATING A PERCEPTION SHIFT IN THE AUDIENCE, will be released in July.