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Friday, February 18, 2011

The Friday Five, February 18, 2011

(This week we're giving you a Friday Five times two which is actually the beginning of a news series)

by Patrick Goddard

My experience watching Tableau d'Hôte's recent production of Humans really messed me up. From the first moments, I was filled with hate and rage and wondered what the hell I was doing in a room full of people who were head over heels in love the show. Was I crazy? My wife didn't think so; in fact, she was relieved that I agreed with her, and we booked out of there as fast as possible without sticking around to applaud. But neither of us could get the show out of our heads. At brunch the next day, we were still talking about it. And I realized that Humans had struck me to the core: it was (as I somewhat nastily Facebooked later) everything I hated in theatre in one show. 

Now, if you're going to make a statement like that, it behooves one to follow up on it. What I propose is to spend the next ten weeks breaking down those elements and publicly working out just what the hell it is I actually do hate about theatre -- and why.

So, if you'll indulge me, please consider the following table of contents:

1. White cubes in a white set with white costumes
2. Barefoot actors
3. Choral speaking
4. Drumming
5. Irish "traditional" music
6. "Movement"
7. Video backdrops
8. "Eroticism"
9. Showing and telling; or, Simultaneous translation for the imaginatively impaired
10. Audience participation



  1. That this article exists at all is unfortunate. The ignorance of this piece, the choice of language, and the proposed 10 week autopsy of Humans is discouraging.

  2. I am all for not liking pieces of art that don't move you. To each their own. Personally, I am very critical of most theatre, particularly in the English Montreal scene. Whether you enjoyed "Humans" or not (and I did- it didn't strike me with awe, but I did) I give so much credit to this young theatre company for stepping out of the usual Montreal English theatre norm.

    So they used a neutral set (would you have preferred black boxes? Multi-colour?). So the actors weren't wearing shoes (made for some nice movement). Are you really going to write off DRUMMING?

    I agree with the comment above. This article is disheartening and I don't look forward to the next ten at all.

  3. I think you'll find that there has been a considerable amount of praise for Humans, including on this site (read my review). What Patrick has proposed doing is very interesting to me - using one piece as a jumping off point to study trends in theatre as a whole. You may or may not agree with him, and you are welcome to comment (indeed, encouraged to do so!) - but any discussion that keeps a theatre work "alive" even after is closes is, to me, not at all disheartening.

  4. I also generally hate all the things listed, particularly 2, 3, and 10. However all these elements may work for a particular show, so I wouldn't disregard one based on such aesthetic differences.
    Although this blurb is harsh, at least it's unapologetically opinionated. Montreal English theatre critique usually has the tone and sincerity of everyone-gets-a-prize-day.

  5. Unapologetic Criticism is one thing, projecting one's insecurities is another.

    The idea that this might be a jumping point for a discussion of trends in theatre might make for an interesting read. However, the idea that Mr. Goddard would take 10 separate blog entries to pan Humans and crap on Tableau D'Hote's work, is petty, excessive, and small. Goddard's rather vocal attitude towards members of the community who's work doesn't suit his taste has traditionally fallen more in the latter category, which is unfortunate, considering his position as president of QDF, if nothing else.

    As community members, we expect the president of our organizations to support and encourage our art. Which is a distinctively different thing than liking each and every one of our shows. Again, offering criticism is one thing. Spewing ill-thought out pronouncements of hate in public forums is another. If he hates so much about theatre, and the work that his community creates, then perhaps a different career would be more rewarding. It certainly makes this community member feel as though we ought to seriously reconsider who we elect to represent us.

  6. wow. i'll try to keep my comments to a minimal as i would like these posts to evolve in as organic a way as possible.

    1) i would like to commend patrick for being able to speak so frankly of his opinion on our show. i trust that this dialogue is born out of nothing but respect and i look forward to reading his thoughts over the next 10 weeks.

    2) it takes courage to share such thoughts when we live in such a small community. i would encourage everybody who wishes to participate in the dialogue to not post anonymously. if patrick can speak his mind, we can respond.

    3) i am happy that the president of qdf is so active in the community. i am glad they are willing to go see as many shows as possible and participate in a continuous discussion afterwards.

    4) patrick, and mainline theatre, have been very kind to tableau d'hôte over the last 6 years. i do not consider these words to be a sign of him 'crapping on our work'.

    let the discussion continue.

    in love, respect & solidarity,

    mathieu p.

  7. Mr Goddard is entitled to an opinion as do others.

    I also attend the plays put on by Tableau d'Hote
    do I like them all or there sets NO but this does not give me the right to trash them,instead of dissecting what I don't like I admire the hard work and dedication of everyone involved.

    Bridget Murphy

  8. yes, Bridget, but isn't just admiring the hard work and dedication a bit like treating theatre like the Special Olympics? I think MELT is robust enough to warrant hard scrutiny.

  9. yes, i think MELT is strong enough to warrant hard scrutiny. i also think tableau d'hôte is strong enough to stand by our artistic choices and let others stand by their opinions.

    so little do we get a chance to truly discuss and debate a show once we have left the theatre lobby. this is both in meaning and in form.

    i am pleased that humans has left such a strong impression on many people, and hope that a very respectful and intelligent debate can emerge between all those who experienced the production.

    if you disagree with patrick, and i know a lot of you do, please engage with him. let him know why you think he is wrong. let him know the things you love about theatre. let him know everything you adored about humans.

    discussion: it is what we are in the business of creating.

  10. I've posted my lengthy reaction and thoughts on our blog:

  11. A great many people within the MELT community consider themselves qualified, capable and competent when it comes to giving their considered opinion on what they've seen and how it has effected them.

    For those that may not know, there is an equal number of people who have absolutely no idea what they're talking about. But, we here on this blog, don't know any of those people.

    For a long time now, probably since the first cave man or woman tried to reenact the hunting party's activities for the entire tribe, some people just get it, and some never have.

    The biggest difference between us and our MELT forbearers is that if your fellow cave audience member, seated beside you at the fire pit, didn't stop gassing on about how the cave actor was not actually in the moment, or lacked the rudimentary skills to truly be the mammoth, you could crack him or her over the head with your club, roll over and go to sleep in your own filth.

    Today, we are evolved, confident and mature. And, this blog space has proven that by allocating space and encouraging one person to sit and postulate, pontificate and percolate over his particular views on a specific piece of theatre for the next 10 weeks.

    Remember, this is being done in the interest of developing a deeper understanding of our art, our craft and our community. We shall all read these writings because we want to be just as qualified, capable and competent as Patrick some day.

  12. This is a great discussion! People in this comunity, no matter who they are, are entitled to their opinion. If you're upset by one person's opinion then you are the one who is insecure. I for one am happy that someone isn't afraid to speak their mind, as too many times instead of challenging our artists we placate them. All that breeds is mediocrity.

    Too often we fall in love with companies and not their work, Patrick's past involvement with the company shows that he is beyond that, and people who have convictions they stand by in this business are a rare animal.

    Could you make the argument that as head of the qdf he shouldn't be so openly against someone's work? Again I feel that a body like the qdf should challenge us, not treat us like the special olympics. There is the possiblity that anyone who wanted to do theatre including the above ten things has been alianated though. It'll just depend on the thickness of their skin.
    In the end, it's one person's view of a play, and if you want to grow, everyone, from the head of the qdf, to the guy who's seeing his first paly should have a voice.

    Love the blog. Keep us relevant!

  13. alright, the politico in me needs to call out the comparaising of coddling to the special olympics.

    we would not tolerate racism, sexism, ageism or homophobia on this blog, right? so we should respect our brothers and sisters with disabilities as well and stop the blatant ableism.



  14. Dude, it was meant as an example not as an attack...

  15. i get that and i don't think either you or gaëtan intended for it to be malicious. but words matter. and when we choose to compare something negative to an entire group of people we are doing a disservice both to our argument and to others.

    whether you see it now or now, that example is a form of ableism. and part of my day-to-day work is raising awareness of such issues and as such i won't sit back when it leaks into other aspects of my life.

    still love ya, and still love this debate. just think we should work towards finding examples that do not discriminate based on physical or mental ability.

  16. Patrick Goddard embodies everything I hate about theatre people. I love the theatre but I find that the people involved are often jealous, petty and negative towards each other. Dedicating this much time into dissing someone elses work is LAME and pointless.

  17. It wasn't a negative comparisson though. The whole spirit of the special olympics is that "to participate is to win." The point we were both making (I think) is that critics just love shows because they are put up, not because they are great. Saying we are not the special olympics does not in any way put down the event. Had either of us disparaged the special olmpics you would have a valid point. Using the special olympics as an example doesn't immediately infer something negative. You're right words are powerful, if YOU give them power. If you're offended by the special olmpics comparisson you've missed the point, and now we're getting sidetracked. Perhaps we could have another forum to discuss faux pas in language, and get back to the issue originally raised in the article.

    And to the last poster, you hate Patrick, fine. But at least he has the courage to put his name next to his views. Very easy to hate on someone when you can later smile and act like their friend.

  18. /recommencediscussion

    You've raised an interesting point, Aaron, as have others, if only glancingly.

    Patrick is one of many who consider their mere association with MELT as some sort of talisman against the creeping mediocrity of a perceived theatre pharisee threatening to dominate our artistic integrity.

    I, for one, thank this meek theatre impresario and QDF president for making it artistically safer for me by illuminating this blog with his talmudic knowledge of theatre. We will all soon hear the good word from Him, the lamb of Jeremy.

    And to think. This hitherto imperceptible threat to theatre was unknown to me until I read his article and the related posts. I slept rather well at night before then.

  19. whether one LOVES a show or one HATES it, if during "brunch the next day, you were still talking about it" , it has done it's job.
    Good discussion.

  20. Being the president of QDF should not bear any factor in discrediting Patrick's critique of any show. If he were to write a glowing review, no one would bat an eye.

    Not to mention the fact that all he has said was that Humans represented everything he hates about theatre - his explanation (or now, defense in the eyes of the anonymous commenters) is yet to come.

    So before we start hating Patrick because we love barefeet and "irish" music, or applauding him because we hate white cubes and "movement", perhaps we should listen to what he has to say.

  21. Here here Emily. That's what I've been waiting for.

  22. We gone done near everyt'ing on your durn list there at one point orn another. And on yer stage too. And we gundo'er again.

    -Matt from UNCALLED FOR

  23. I love this.
    I am a fan of Humans and thought it was a fantastic show because I love barefeet and boxes and movement. That's my kind of theatre. I do, however, respect those who do not like that kind of theatre. It is a breath of fresh air to have someone discuss their opinions so freely. Tonight after seeing a show, I discussed with a group my true thoughts and opinions and I felt inspired to do so because of this blog. I don't want to be precious and treat theatre like a delicate thing that can't be shared but rather must be looked at in silence as though everything we see is a masterpiece. Harold yelled out in Humans his true thoughts and I appreciated it. If we are honest and critical we will only create better theatre in the end. So let's make better theatre. I am looking forward to the rest of these posts.


  24. I agree, Jen. Theatre should be sacred, not precious.

    And I agree that we too often applaud mediocrity in this city (often, let's face it, because our friends are in the show), and just as often we overlook really great work and really great artists.

    I liked some things about Humans and didn't like others.
    I like some things about Patrick's work and don't like others.
    I like some things about my own work and don't like others...

    I love that this discussion is happening, but I really hope it evolves beyond "this is what I like and this is what I don't." Everyone "likes" different things, but I hope we are capable of knowing the difference between something that doesn't fit in with our personal tastes, and something that has been ill-conceived or poorly-executed. Because there is a difference. Just like there is a difference between a company that is aiming high and missing the mark, and a company that aims low and hits the spot... So if we are aiming to build a better stronger theatre community in this city, in my humble opinion not only do we need to be brave enough to actually talk about the work we do and see, but we could also stand to improve our level of discourse about that work.

    (I believe you can hate the game and still love the player. Like, for instance, i quite like Patrick, but I don't want to read why he hates those ten things. Not because I loved Humans, but because I'd rather have a discussion about what makes great theatre - I mean, that's the goal, right? To create great work?)

  25. @Amanda. But part of what makes great theatre - or literature or music - is the avoidance of cliché. Now cliché can never be entirely avoided (though it's fun to imagine the groundlings in Jacobean times grumbling, "Oh great! ANOTHER one with a ghost!"), but there are devices that tend to strike one; the difference from one spectator to the next is whether the devices feel organic. ("Jayzus, the ghost in the play with the witches scared the shit out of me, but the ghost of the father in that other play was just blah blah blah blah blah!")

  26. See, that's already a more interesting way of putting it. "The use of white blocks and bare feet in this piece didn't seem organic." That I might stay tuned for.

  27. Shouldn't the President of the QDF be more worried or interested in the fact that Tableau D'Hôte, who has been producing Independent Theatre (wether you like it or not is absolutely irrelevant) for years, had to practically beg it's supporters and general public for money to produce their show Humans?

    They begged.

    They begged until enough people felt sorry for them, all the while getting press as the "poor artists" who just needed a little bit of help.


    We are all poor artists in this community, their are no English Language Independent Theatre Companies who have money. None. If the "poor artist" becomes the norm in order to get funding on an immediate level, then the English Language Theater Community will become even more a after school Theatre Group then it already is. We need to start taking ourselves seriously, and seriously looking at ways to make our chosen craft legitimate in City that does not care. Should we all be begging for money to get our shows produced? We need Tableau D'Hôte just as much as we needed Gravy Bath. And where are they now?

    Never mind the bear feet and boxes, they had to beg to get that show off the ground. This is the thing we all should be (including the president of the QDF) hating on, or worried about, because if they can't garner enough support after being involved in the Theatre Community as long as they have, then who the hell can?

    We need a leader, somebody that will help us, fight for us, make us legitimate, give us something to strive for, to inspire us, and help us get some funding from the City of Montreal, the Government of Quebec and or Canada. This needs to be done over and above the individual Company filling out the grant application forms and hoping somebody in an office building somewhere will deem them worthy of public funds for a show or company they know nothing about. Because we shouldn't have to beg in order to produce English Independent Theatre in Montreal. We need to believe that we are good enough. And we don't. The stakes need to go way up. We need to change the formula, because the formula no longer works, and it probably never has. Maybe if the president of the QDF decided to clean up his own surroundings and actually become the leader of the English Language Theatre Community that it needs, then and only then might we get the opportunity to stop begging for change.

    P.S Yes this blog was started without the direct support of the QDF, but we now must assume that anything the President of the Quebec Drama Federation says in public, also reflects the ideals and values of the QDF. And let’s be honest, the QDF should not be hating English Independent Theatre, this isn’t the Mainline lobby anymore. Time to grow up.

  28. I am astounded and mostly delighted by the comments for this piece - makes me glad I placed it. I am dismayed, however, that even the president of the QDF is required to be silent on what he does and does not like as if expressing himself somehow, makes him incapable of representing the whole. So basically the line, from our anonymous poster, is artists should question but ferkrissakes shut up about it.

  29. Here's a thought...
    I should preface this by saying that I did NOT get a chance to see Humans. I still think I can speak to this issue however, as I have had the pleasure and the pain (and I mean that both sincerely and respectfully) of producing a show that Liz directed. She is an artist with a magnificent vision, extraordinary intelligence, empahty and a complete dedication to her interpretation of the text. Our play, Surviving Worlds, was a poetic adaptation, and it could very rightfully have been called a "barefoot, boxes and movement" show.
    So, here's what I suggest. Liz made artistic choices for Humans, rooted in her own aesthetic and in her interpretation of the text with her actors, designers and Tableau d'Hote. We can like or dislike those choices, but as artists (and this is a discussion amongst artists, let's be clear) I believe we have the responsibility to defend and share our process.
    Too often, we create inside a little bubble, and then present our work, fait accompli, to an audience. More understanding and better education might be fostered by sharing elements of that process.
    Now Liz must reserve the right to remain silent on this. As an artist, she also has the right to simply hold up her work as the defense. "I created it, it exists, and I am proud of it," may be all that needs to be said. But, I know that someone with the love of theatre that Liz has, can illuminate this discussion immensely. I call on her to consider it. And if she chooses not to, I call on all of us to be wary of passing sweeping judgements based on our own personal vision, or on what we believe the MELT should represent.
    Just a thought...

  30. I tend to agree with the Anonymous view that as an officially elected leader of our community, there is a certain decorum we expect from a "president" that requires a bit more diplomacy that might be the norm in the Mainline lobby.

    This isn't to say that we ought not to freely express our views and openly criticize work we don't like. We absolutely should, and we need to. Respectfully. A respectful and useful critique, an engaging and meaningful discussion, does not begin with "I hate this and everything about it" -- "Hate" is a very final sentiment. It's a pronouncement which does not inspire mature civilized discourse any more than nasty Facebook statuses do.

    I don't think we're at risk of treating each other's work with kid gloves. Most of my colleagues and I feel no shame or fear in articulating why we didn't like any given production, and putting our names next to our opinions. I think that the over all message of these comments, anonymous and accounted for, is that YES. We should absolutely talk about the shows we don't like. But we shouldn't be assholes and douches about it.

    Assholes and douches suck, and they spread their suckitude around. Assholes and douches are everything I hate about people, theatre and otherwise.

  31. @Everybody:

    Sorry I hadn't posted earlier. I am following the heated discussion, and am absorbing and considering it all, and will address the issues that are being brought up in Friday's column. I appreciate the honesty and criticism -- if I wasn't willing to make myself a target, I wouldn't have started this series in the first place.


  32. @ Nanette: LOL! @Patrick: we wait with breath held.

  33. Let's get one thing straight,

    The anonymous issue is irrelevant. In fact I think it's better if people write anonymously because then the argument brought forth is not tinted with the judgment of whose mouth is it coming from. The moment you put a face to a statement or opinion, you lose it's true essence and relevance because your appreciation or in some cases depreciation of said face will influence your perception.

    If you're a douche bag, keep it anonymous because, surprisingly enough, you might actually have something of value to say, and we wouldn't want your nasty reputation to impair our judgments now would we.

  34. That everyone has the right to have an express their own opinions about theatre, music or any art form is a no-brainer. But what's wrong with this sentence?

    "The president of the Quebec Drama Federation is writing a blog series entitled '10 Things I Hate - I HATE - About Theatre'"

    Not "10 Things That Need To Be Discussed About Theatre",

    Not "10 Issues That Deserve Attention in Theatre",

    Not "10 Things That Make Great Theatre".

    From the QDF website: "A registered charity founded in 1972, the Quebec Drama Federation exists to encourage and maintain English-language theatre in Quebec by providing leadership in promotion, development, and support."

    Patrick is absolutely free to slam, slander, blacklist and yes, hate, anything he wants and shout it to the heavens from the top of Mont Royal. However, as a theatre artist, I expect the president of the QDF to address the good, the bad and the ugly of the Montreal theatre community in a way that inspires creativity, integrity, quality and growth rather than pontificating on particular elements that all theatre companies and artists - who pay to be members of an organization whose mission statement is to support them - best avoid in order to cater to his specific personal tastes.

    I look forward to the lively discussion about what makes or doesn't make great theatre. Seeing as Patrick's conduct is in direct violation of the organization over which he presides, I also look forward to his resignation.

  35. There is an extremely high level of hypocrisy on this thread, probably in direct proportion to the levels found within our artistic community.

    It's comforting

    Blog Imitates Life i guess.

    you didn't play your cards right.

    You went for shock value,
    And I understand why,
    You wanted people's attention.

    That's what kids do in school when they don't get enough hugs at home.

    Problem is,

    You shot yourself in the foot.

    You thought you had the competence and respect required to justify your "edge"...your bluntness.

    You don't man,
    You haven't earned it.
    You haven't earned the right to be honest.

    Publicly honest.

    Isn't that sad?

    First of all,

    You just don't have what it takes to back it up.
    Your body of work is largely insufficient.

    You haven't paid your dues.

    And because your artistic merits are not really impressive or particularly relevant,
    pretty much anything you say is and will be turned against you. No matter how interesting or insightful.

    Do I think that's fair?
    Absolutely not.

    Do I think you should have known better?

    You were naive enough to think you were entitled to publicly post your heinous opinions as a CRITIC, while being the president of QDF.

    The thing is,
    Patrick Goddard,
    so so actor,
    so so singer,
    ARE entitled.
    Your opinions are as valuable and as legit as everyone else's.

    But you,
    Patrick Goddard,
    newly appointed QDF PRESIDENT?
    Nah man.
    Had you not been the president of QDF, I don't think you'd be getting so much heat.

    Some people won't stop until you resign my friend.

    Do I think that's fair?
    Not really.

    Do I think that matters?
    Not really.

    Buddy, you were dumb enough to attack Table d'Hôte.


    It's like you attacked the immigrants man.
    You attacked the minority.

    you're out,


    p.s. For what it's worth, I actually respect you more now then I used to. And I know you must care about Theatre a great deal. Otherwise you wouldn't have taken this stupid risk.

  36. I absolutely adore the fact that after all that self-indulgent smearing, 'anonymous' suddenly develops some sort of guilty conscious and adds 'I actually respect you more now than I used to.'

    Good job Patrick. You posted something that has motivated the MELT community to give voice to their thoughts. Thoughts that have obviously been brewing in their minds for longer than six days.

    Regardless of whether or not we think Patrick has the 'right' to post his (very dramatic) views, I think that this blog might be an interesting opportunity for the community to discuss our own opinions on the value or failing of devices like the white cube, bare feet, movement, video backdrops, etc.

    After all, if there's anything we can take away from all these comments it's that we all have strong opinions and that (whether we agree or disagree,) it's super fun to hear what other people have to say. Especially when we disagree.

  37. I’m loving this thread,

    I don’t think anyone is right or wrong here. I think that’s the whole point. I think that’s the beauty of what we do. We should be grateful to be part of a heterogeneously homogeneous artistic community.

    Yes. That’s right. I wrote heterogeneously homogeneous.
    Part of me still feels like I should have opted for homogeneous heterogeneity but … … hey, only trying to diffuse the some tension here.

    Bad writing and pretentious word play aside, I do think those two words (together) pretty much sum up how I perceive our MELT community. We might not agree on what is, is not, should or should not be THEATRE, we might not have the same "standards" or the same criteria to evaluate what is "good" Theatre, we might not appreciate the same theatrical devices, elements, props, music, actors, scripts, we might not even RESPECT other peoples work, that’s fine, BUT

    I HAVE to believe that all of us are, to the best of our individual and artistic capacity, trying to create, elevate, and promulgate what we believe to be of relevance, of importance and of value to our little community.

    We are all DIFFERENT, yet part of the SAME whole. Even when were are trying really hard NOT to be.

    Mediocrity. I "hate" the word. I think we should stop hating on bad Theatre. There’s crap everywhere guys. There’s bad Theatre everywhere in the world. We need it. We should embrace it. It is essential to our craft. And it’s often the shitty stuff that makes us think harder. Question harder. Don’t we learn as much from the bad as the great? Don’t they both shed the light on what works and what doesn’t? One by omission and one by example. And it’s all so subjective. It HAS to be. Otherwise it’s not human. It’s empty.

    We also need people to HATE what we LOVE. If only to fuel us to work harder, strive harder, fail harder, and maybe, just maybe, achieve higher. Liz Valdez does not need us to defend Humans. Table D’Hôte doesn’t need us to validate it’s existence. It EXIST. We should not be offended by Patrick’s HATE. It’s not hate. It’s LOVE. It’s love of something ELSE. He loves other things SO MUCH, that he probably has no more room for white boxes and "Irish music"... :) Take this with a grain of salt if you need to, but I don’t think we should be outraged by any of this.

    I think we should all try and distance ourselves from the form in which Patrick chose to present his blog. It was "slightly" over the top, sensationalist, and meant to spark controversy. Overkill? Maybe. But I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and say that it was the quickest (but perhaps not the most tactful) way of opening up the discussion. The unfortunate side to this is that it will inadvertently detract most Charbo bloggers from it’s potential relevance and turn it instead into a ‘’Should Patrick, President of QDF, be allowed to voice his hateful opinions in public’’ debate. I think THAT is an irrelevant discussion. I personally don’t care if he’s the president of QDF, he is entitled to his opinions and has the right to share them with whoever's willing to hear. IF he desperately feels the need to do so.

    My question is, WHY? And is it in any way a beneficial thing to publicly bash a show. Over 10 weeks? Patrick by the time you’re done it’ll be the end of April... c’est un peu excessif :)

    I hope you have some solid and constructive arguments to defend your list.

    Bon courage.


  38. I love that you used the word hate, it makes of interesting journalism. Whether I agree with you or not, I am more interested to hear about what you have to say next, since I know you will say it with vehemence.

    It is bold and controversial and is making people talk, which is great.

    You have piqued my interest, which I think is the point.

    Also am I the only one who thinks it is funny that Table d'hôte via Mathieu seems totally okay with this discussion while many others are shouting the rafters down?

  39. Reading this discussion has made me a BETTER person, artist, member of this community and all around Human being.

    THANK YOU to everyone who has participated in this discussion & debate.

    Anonymous's ARE hiding.
    It's a shame that the FEAR of judgment justifies your need to keep your identities a secret.
    It's a device for cowardice.
    I think as "Anonymous's" you've ALL miss The Point.

    The Point is HOW DO WE DO BETTER? (in anything)
    Answer : by being HONEST.
    Compassionately, whole heartedly, intelligently, maturely, bravely.

    For me, Antoine Yared best expressed the idea of how any art form should be considered or criticized:

    "Mediocrity. I "hate" the word.
    I think we should stop hating on bad Theatre. There’s crap everywhere guys. There’s bad Theatre everywhere in the world. We need it. We should embrace it. It is essential to our craft. And it’s often the shitty stuff that makes us think harder.
    Question harder.
    Don’t we learn as much from the bad as the great?
    Don’t they both shed the light on what works and what doesn’t?
    One by omission and one by example. And it’s all so subjective.
    It HAS to be. Otherwise it’s not human. It’s empty. "

    Once again, THANK YOU to every single person who has participated in this HONEST exchange.


  40. Um, I know I'm a little late to join in the discussion (which is great by the way no matter how it started) but I feel the need to point something out.

    Patrick has done the majority of things on that list not only in shows that he has been in but in at least one show that he wrote.

    If that isn't hypocrisy I'm not sure what is.

    And yes people should be allowed to express their opinions, no matter what their station in life. But publicly attacking someone's work without giving any kind of real constructive criticism is not only tactless, it's downright useless.

    Hate is a very strong word.

    I for one have many theatrical choices that tend to put me off, but for every one of those potentially cliche choices I've seen 5 shows that use them in a way that wows me.

    To write off any choice is to weaken our art form as a whole.

    And frankly it is inappropriate for the president of QDF to be posting an article like this, whether it sparks healthy discussion or not.

    If you want a real discussion, how about discussing the fact that they only people reading what is potentially one of the most rousing debates in the MELT in a very long time, are it's most prominent members.

    No one outside of a small body of artists will even bat an eyelash that this ever happened.

    THAT is a much larger problem that needs to be addressed before our little community can truly move forward.

    In the four years that I've been a member of this community I have seen spectacular works and terrible ones, and no one outside the community ever noticed.

  41. hate? please. i agree with much that's been stated here, and have ignored anything written by that gutless anony mouse person. we tend to be passion babies, and often use words without precision. often, many in our community talk behind others' backs.
    as tristan said, if it moves you to think and feel, it's done it's job. i prefer to tell people to their faces that i felt revulsion or a massive headache or both, which oddly enough, is rare for me. i told the former ad of centaur that his crucible failed for me primarily because he badly miscast an otherwise very good actor as john proctor.('course he didn't hire me again for another nine years, but that's another story). i admire patrick for his ballsy blog here, i encourage people to not take things so damn literally and hope that more people are willing to take responsibility for their statements and opinions by making themselves known. humor is always important, as is an understanding that what is shared is not necessarily an attack but an opinion by somebody who obviously loves theatre. so, by becoming president of qdf, you mean to tell me that part of the job description is behaving by the rules as set forth by thumper's mother? (if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all)? CRAP. "nice" kills more good things than i care to list here. i learn something new every time i see a show, good or bad, and i certainly appreciate a show that risks everything bravely, even if it fails miserably.
    with respect and in solidarity,
    howard rosenstein

  42. Okay, I would just like to applaud Patrick Goddard for using the controversy technique to finally draw so many people from our community into what seems to be a very interesting forum. I'm looking forward to future participation from everyone.


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