May 17, 2005

Theatrical productions you'd have to pay me -- a lot! -- to attend.

In the email:
You are invited to a free performance of provocative, interactive theater which will engage the audience in a discussion of classroom diversity and inclusive teaching. The play will take place on May 25th at 7:30 P.M. in the Wisconsin Union Theater, Memorial Union.

The actors are members of the CRLT Players of the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching at the University of Michigan. Their sketches are a combination of comedy and drama. After each sketch, the actors emerge in character to converse with the audience. A trained facilitator leads the discussion and presents educational research relating to classroom diversity. The actors often perform the scenario again after the audience suggests changes to the characters' actions.
Free? Really?

Is there any sort of theatrical production worse than one designed to instruct you in proper behavior? Yes. It would be a theatrical production designed to instruct you in proper behavior where the actors, after performing their scenario, emerge in character, and, aided by a trained facilitator, engage the audience in a discussion of proper behavior, then redo the scenario. And keep in mind that this audience will be composed of people who would voluntarily attend this production.

I realize this would be ripe blogging material, but, seriously, you'd have to pay me at least $1,000 to attend.

18 comments:

Evan said...

Argh- this sounds even worse than all those RA training sensitivity sessions I have to attend each fall...

They ought to pay you $1000 to blog about it; if they did they would receive wider coverage than by any other means.

Jonathan said...

So what happens if audience members question the premises of the whole production? Somehow I sense that intellectual diversity is not what the "CRLT Players" have in mind. (Of course, given the certain dreariness of this event, I doubt that any critics will attend.)

Ron said...

Wouldn't it be just great to go with a couple of friends willing to be ringers and stage your own audience-based counter-performance? Scare the living hell out of the facilitator, have everyone say fake evil things to each other, stage a fake race riot/gender insurrection/differently-abled beatdown!

Now THAT would be tasty!

DirtCrashr said...

Can't you get a NEA grant to attend? ;-)

leeontheroad said...

CTRL + ALT + DELETE.

Oh, sorry, that was CRLT. . .

Robert said...

Hahaha ... we should take up a collection and get Prof. Althouse to go. A simulblog of this could be devastating.

Ann Althouse said...

Robert: Well, you see the Amazon and Paypal buttons. For a combined new infusion of $1,000 in donations, I will blog the event. It will be like that time readers sent Josh Marshall to the New Hampshire primary. Except he was trying to cover his expenses. I will just be trying to cover my pain.

Ann Althouse said...

Alternatively, some local bloggers can attend, write it up, and send me their URLs to link. (But, please, don't be disrespectful while you're there.)

Ron said...

Ann: Good Idea! Rent-a-blogger! Maybe you can put a price on each item on your list of things you haven't done, and when the contributions hit that level, you do it and blog it!
(except maybe the smack...)

Now that alone is an idea for a blog..."will do X and post it as a video file. and blog it."

Richard Lawrence Cohen said...

For $1,000 I think anyone in this conversation could blog it sight unseen, and it would be more entertaining and instructive than the actual event.

Ann Althouse said...

Nice idea, Ron. Okay, for a mere $500, I'll eat an egg salad sandwich and write up an account of it. With photos!

Ron said...

Ann: Though I lack the funds to be such a ...person...I suspect there are enough egg salad voyeurs out there that they may yet pony up the coin!

C'mon Interweb! Don't let me down!

And if this happens...I, too, will partake of the egg salad...

Joe said...

Aaaggh. Sounds hideous. Nothing like an actor staying afterward to explain. The performance must really be provocative to require a facilitator (trained, even!) to stimulate discussion.

PS Did anyone pay to bring Josh Marshall back?

leeontheroad said...

Gladly, I have other plans for Memorial Day weekend, but as I have actually been to such a similar performance, for mere sympathy, I can blog that post-hoc. Mind you, it was about diversity in campus residence halls and included safer sex education. But I could title it "Gotta like it raw" (verbatim quote from a student) which puts an unusual macrobiotic spin on the matter.

George said...

Ann and claque,

Where does it say anything about "proper behavior" in the announcement?

Have you ever heard of unwitting forms of discrimination, the sort that the perpetrator is not only unaware of but denies indignantly when it is pointed out to him/her?

That's the sort of thing the performance seeks to address and address in open-ended fashion -- not by prescription, but by making it problematic for the viewer, who will emphatically NOT get instruction, but will instead feel the burden to work out his/her own solution -- a sobering experience for many.

It's in the tradition of consciousness-raising, which generally has a good name in Wisconsin!

So, why this smirking?

Give it a look. Then smirk!!

GCR

Ann Althouse said...

George: I'm willing to believe this group does a reasonably good job at what it sets out to do, but I loathe didactic theater. As I said in my original post, I'm perfectly willing to sit through the ordeal so that I can be perfectly fair to it -- for $1000.

George said...

You know, Ann, yours is a deliberate kind of prejudice, not an unwitting one of the sort I decribed. The same thing exists in our times with respect to ethnic minorities, women, Jews, leftists.

The performances I know about are not intended to remedy that kind. A devout racialist or misogynist will not be cured by a theater performance. Perhaps your loathing is also indefeasible.

George

Ann Althouse said...

Wha???? I'm "prejudiced" against bad theater? Damn right!