The 2017 Oscars Debacle Proves No Heretical or Heuristic Difference Between Winning and Losing

The 2017 Oscars will be forever remembered as a debacle over naming the “Best Picture” in a mixup that was more human than mechanical, and for that pleasure, I’m grateful. We continue to prove, even in our dearest moments, we are not beyond the touch of the fallible, and that we are mortally are bound to fail — by proxy of The Gods — for even tempting to create beauty over form, and meaning over function.

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American Gargoyle: A Cloven Hoof in the Homeland (The Script)

I started a new podcast on July 18, 2016 called “David Boles: Human Meme” and I have had some great luck with episodes like Of Wealth and the Starless Eye and Omne Trium Perfectum: The Rule of Three and De Anima and the Demon Soul, but today’s podcast — American Gargoyle: A Cloven Hoof in the Homeland — has taken off on a life of its own, and that’s precisely what you hope to have happen in a podcast about human memetics and the how and why we learn and share knowledge!

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The Us of Us: Aristotelian Politics in the Age of Unreason

We live in odd and curious times where politics are more performance than punditry and more perfunctory than professional. How did we get in such a mess of unequal consequences? We won’t just rise or fall and find the mean when this comet ride is over — we’re heading into a catastrophic tumble of immortal termination — just as the Gods before us fell from the temple and humankind stopped looking to the heavens for confirmation of the merits of their lives in the glow of the clouds and decided to forgive their own sins while skipping the punishments.

In critical moments, I turn to my training, and seek the greater mind, and the more universally sophisticated aesthetic for guidance and comfort. As, Aristotle wrote, in “Politics” —

Man is by nature a social animal; an individual who is unsocial naturally and not accidentally is either beneath our notice or more than human. Society is something that precedes the individual. Anyone who either cannot lead the common life or is so self-sufficient as not to need to, and therefore does not partake of society, is either a beast or a god.

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A Stone’s Throw: “That Abortion Play” 30 Years Later

Thirty years ago, as an undergraduate student at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, I wrote a play: A Stone’s Throw. The full-length drama was about the dilution of the human spirit forged against the willful hard-edge of moral exhumation — but my production quickly became known on campus as “That Abortion Play.” You may download an early draft of “A Stone’s Throw” on this Boles.com Prairie Voice Archive Scripts page; and here some of the reviews of the production.

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Attention and Intention: Contextual Consequences and Cultural Confusion in Deaf West’s Spring Awakening Broadway Revival

Let’s agree on one thing: Deaf West’s excellent Broadway revival of “Spring Awakening” is a fine production currently showing at the Brooks Atkinson theatre in a limited run. The sets and lights are magnificent. The staging is right. The actors are completely superb. The effort is noble, but perhaps, imperfect in the execution of its essence, and it is in that vacuum of those slight flaws in amber that this review reflects — to make you think and wonder in preservation and ponder beyond the simple joy of watching a few Deaf actors on a live Broadway stage.

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Never Speak to the Actors!

There’s an old, weary, chestnut in the theatre — that deserves to be burned alive, eaten whole, pooped out and buried in the deep blue sea and then never spoken of again — that goes a little something like this, when directors say to Playwrights: “Never Speak to the Actors!”

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Brander Matthews: Father of Dramatic Literature

Brander Matthews was one of the purist theatrical geniuses we’ve had in, and around, the intellectual American Stage.  Brander rightly believed a play only existed in performance and that the performance and the text must be evaluated separately. He was also one of the first professors at an American University — Columbia University in the City of New York starting in 1892 — to promote, and foster, the idea that Dramatic Literature was just as important a field of study as any historic cave wall painting or artistic sculpture or aesthetic structure. He believed in the power of the Playwright to form the world.

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