Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Manifesto of Better Failures, or, Sammy Beckett says howdy...

Now is the time! For what we don’t know, but we have a pretty good idea!

We, as artists (we hope) and as humans (most of us), believe that only through art can the world be saved. But there is a problem. So much of what is considered art these days is boring, false, and downright pointless. We aim to change that, to transform the great things that have decayed through passage of time and woeful neglect through subversion, our own blissful ignorance, and by getting in way over our heads.

The old art is boring. The only solution is to create new art.

(At this point in our program, a member of the reading audience scratches their head,stands up, and speaks. This may seem unexpected, but we were prepared for it, because anything goes here*.)

But, idealistic manifesto writer, don’t you then run the risk of producing boring art.

Yes, dear reader, that is a possibility. But unlike most who create boring art, we already know that there is the possibility for failure, for not meeting our goals or clearly communicating our intentions. That is why the ability to FAIL BETTER is built into all we do. It is as worthwhile to watch a flawless performance as it is to watch someone fall flat on their ass. It’s only meaningless if the person on their ass doesn’t get up or pretends they didn’t just go ass over tit. Failing is learning.

We intend to produce art for those, who for whatever reasons, do not have art in their lives. We want to challenge these people while giving them reasons to choose us over the prevailing and growing forces of electronic and/or commercial “artforms”, but not forgetting or neglecting these things. (Let’s face it, we loved television before we loved theatre.)

We will not shy away from the difficult things, but we will not embrace them for the sake of their selves. Being provocative does not automatically a work of art make. No matter how absurd, how obscene, how reasoned, how pretty, or ugly a thing may be, it must have a purpose and not merely exist. Just existing is boring!

We want to be better, and if that means failing a whole bunch then so be it! One man’s failure is another man’s gain. Or woman’s. We are totally not sexist. Well...maybe a few of us. We can’t overlook the ugly things. That’s what makes us interesting.

This is not finished, and never should be. It should grow and change, while still keeping that original flame burning bright; the flame of discovery, of expression. We will grow and change and morph into something different with each new undertaking, always with purpose and failure and extreme joy.

Come the gathering storms, come the disagreements, come the fuck ups and forgotten lines, the missed cues and hellish roads paved with good intentions.

Bring it the fuck on.

*Earlier it was mentioned that anything goes. This may seem like a cop out so we can get away with doing anything no matter what the value or point is. Perhaps. But even perhapser we really do mean it. No matter how tightly realized a piece may be, the ability to change it or have it changed for you is inherent in theatre because theatre is living, it is happening right in front of you, behind you, on top of you, and inside of you. The audience should not feel trapped and silent in their attentiveness (especially if they’re bored, and especially not if they are affected by what they are experiencing, good or bad.), and neither should the performers. Being alive is being unpredictable, no matter how well rehearsed life becomes.

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