iTheatre Collaborative Blog

Apr 2012
13

Last updated:
April 14, 2012

Thinking Outside the (Black) Box

Lately, I’ve been trying to think outside the box, for iTheatre that is outside our little black box, known as the Kax Stage at the Herberger. These days I guess everyone is trying to think outside the box. What I am focused on is how can we (iTheatre) move beyond the traditional way(s) of doing our work? Yes, we’ll always be a live performance based theater company, but what else can we do beyond that? How can we reach more people, involve more people? How does live performance work really capture and utilize our digital age in a meaningful way?

Recently I read an article in my university’s alumni magazine about a young man who had graduated in 2000. His name is Luis von Ahn. He is a computer scientist and just the kind of ‘outside the box’ genius I am looking for. Have you ever been on a website where you are asked to type in a series of squiggly letters and numbers that you see on the screen? Pain in the ass, isn’t it? But it is designed to allow that website to know that you are a live human being trying to access their site rather than some spam generating computer program. Well, this guy Luis invented that. It is a very simple solution to a difficult problem. Computers don’t visually recognize shapes or objects like those squiggly letters and numbers like humans do.

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Apr 2012
15

Last updated:
April 15, 2012

Theatricality Abounds in "Gruesome"

I first read the script of Rajiv Joseph’s “Gruesome Playground Injuries” in American Theatre Magazine back in April 2011. I was familiar with the playwright from his play “A Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo” (which is quite brilliant and stunning) and so was interested in reading this much smaller and simpler play. I immediately fell in love with it. It is quite simply a beautiful, little play.

In many ways quite tragic, “Gruesome” is a play that speaks to my generation, the Gen X’ers. My generation has been accused of being so self absorbed that we have lost sight of human connection. Mine is a generation that has seen the rise of computers and technology to the point that we forget what it was like to write a letter…on paper. Or we dimly remember dialing a telephone with a rotary wheel.

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