November 16th, 2010

autumnleaf

Theater in Theater

Last week harrock and I saw Circle Mirror Transformation at the Huntington. Their summary: "When the four students in Marty's creative drama class experiment with harmless theatre games, hearts are quietly torn apart and tiny wars of epic proportions are waged and won." Now, I went in expecting something maybe like No Child - teacher manages to connect with students uninterested in drama, and some of them they learn something about themselves / about life, and maybe she does too. But... I came away with the distinct feeling that Marty was a terrible teacher, and it was a completely useless class, at least, for the students it was intended for, and that ends up skewing my impression of the whole play. I sympathize completely with Lauren, who asks "Are we ever going to do any real acting?" and the answer she gets ("this is real acting") is completely unhelpful to her dilemma, or to me as a watcher.

I find that I could go on at length about this after arguing with justom (but he hasn't seen the play, and I suspect feels morally obliged to defend Acting Teachers, even fictional ones), but maybe I'm trying to prove the obvious ("Here, let me explain in great detail why Iago was a bad guy..."). But maybe I just saw it wrong, because I'm not an Actor, and don't properly appreciate the true transformative potential of learning to count to ten together.

So, for people who saw the play, or are otherwise familiar with it - am I supposed to think the class was worthwhile, not counting the plot that happens outside of the exercises? (More particularly, is the class supposed to look worthwhile for the students who take it).
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