A bright light of ingenuity – 8.29.11

If you, like me, have never heard of the play “The Tenant” from the Woodshed Collective, click here. For those of you who are either too busy or bad at following directions, here’s the gist:

“The Tenant” is a play described as being an “immersive mood piece.” The play takes place in numerous rooms throughout a home, but unlike your normal play that moves from scene-to-scene, in “The Tenant” everything happens at once. In fact, all of the rooms are moving and it is upon the viewer to look where they want to look, go where they want to go, and think what they want to think. It’s a mystery play turned on its head, and though the reviewer (most likely accurately) points out, that freeform movement makes the play hard to follow and understand for the average theater-goer.

I can see where that’s a bad thing. If people can’t follow a story, it’s not much of a story. But on the other hand, I like that some people are willing to think outside of the box.

Two years ago, I attended portions of a 24-hour play at my college with a friend. This production was equally unorthodox, and not at all what I thought it was going to be. On my way out, I discussed that very point with my friend, and we talked about how I was surprised by what exactly the play was.

Now, I might be asking for way too much and as neither an actor nor a director, I cannot be sure. I had thought, though, that the 24-hour play was going to be one long story, that told a full day’s tale in real-time. It would be like theatrical 24 but with less explosions hopefully. (Not that I dislike explosions, moreso because I don’t like explosions nearby)

Then it got my wheels, and my friend’s, turning. Why couldn’t a play like that exist?

Most likely, it goes back to Mr. Twain’s quote about genius lying undiscovered. (Check out “A Quote to put a smile on your face #1“)

People don’t want to act on ideas– like the 24-hour play– even though they have them all the time. There’s a lot of worry about whether or not people will accept something, or if they’ll be too scared from it being different. I understand that this is a totally rational fear.

Yet here is real proof of someone taking an unusual thought about how a play should be run and putting it into action. And hey, it got mentioned in the New York Times. I’d say they did all right.


If anyone has any awesome ideas they want to share or stories about new original ideas coming out in the world to day, post ’em. I’m always happy to see it.

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