Does a Play Exist Without Performance?

There’s an old saying in some theatrical circles that a play does not exist unless and until is has been performed on a live stage in front of an audience.  You can imagine the heartache that creates for the amateur, but vigilant, Playwright who writes page after page only to have the work discounted in the end analysis by some because there is no final proof of production to validate the effort.  Is that a right and fair way to deal with a written Art in Performance?  Does the actor exist without being staged?  Does the director have a role without filling an empty space?

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Mac Wellman's Free CUNY MFA

Playwright Mac Wellman has an interesting idea:  Give CUNY students a tuition-free Master of Fine Arts degree to allow them to study the Arts without going deep into debt. Mac wants these students to learn how they construct the world so they can understand their place in its spinning.

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The Two Week MFA

After four years, we still hold the one-year Masters degree in utter disdain.  I recently learned that an old adjunct friend of mine was forced to get an MFA degree — a Master of Fine Arts — in order to keep her college teaching job.

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Show Business Not Show Show

Many artists in the entertainment field who were trained in Master of Fine Arts programs often mistake show business for higher art.

Show business is not art.  It is not creative.  It has no soul.  It is not everlasting.

“It’s show business, not show show” as one middling director instructed me in a correction of my expectation that spectacle must not triumph over plot in a dramatic performance.

“People want to make money, not a show,” he went on to say, “This isn’t about being smart or even interesting.  It’s about paying investors.”

That lesson was hard to learn because you always want to do your best and try to win not only the bottom line but the day of the mind as well. 

It was made clear to me the mind and soul do not play a role in show business — only profit matters — and that’s why I always prefer to make my own show show so I can fight the want for a bottom line that won’t ruin the greater intentions of humanity while the rescuing of the spirit of the people with the craft of the art and not the want for the dollar.