Saturday, January 23, 2010

Poets Theater Week 2010 at XPoetics

Over at XPoetics today, and on the heels of David Brazil and Kevin Killian's new and exciting poets theater anthology (1945-1985), there's a nice run-down on what went down during Poets Theater Week 2010 in the Bay Area. Friend/colleague Tonya Foster performed her new work, which is exciting, given that I have often nudgingly asked her why she doesn't publish/show her work more.  Wish I could have been there, and in fact was about to perform some work, with an early query from David Buuck, but I'm smack in the middle of teaching, so perhaps another year. Seems like I missed a lot of exciting stuff.  From XPoetics:

Poets Theater 2010 was curated by David Buuck, C.S. Giscombe, and Lauren Shufran.

SPT'second night of Poets Theater 2010 was entirely different from its first. In part a celebration of Patrick Durgin's 
The Kenning Anthology of Poets Theater 1945-1985, edited by Kevin Killian and David Brazil, the night's festivities offered several plays from the anthology: Russell Atkins's "The Corpse," Robert Duncan's "The Origin of Old Son," Joe Brainard's "The Gay Way," and Bruce Andrew's "Song #3." The evening also featured two new plays, Tonya Foster's "Monkey Talk" and cassandra smith's "Interview."

Several of these plays included multimedia stagings. smith's "Interview" featured photographs of David Buuck eerily inhabiting the form of 
Jackson Pollock and Brandon Brown as Frank O'Hara. Pollock remained mute throughout, while most of the lines belonged to the garrulous Henry Haberdash who queried Pollack about his painting and the relationship of one drop to another. After each one-way dialogue, Haberdash blurted out, "Thanks, Jack, I feel great!"

Foster's "Monkey Talk" included excerpts from videotaped interviews with southern good-ole white boy Carl Denham and Queen Kong whose authenticity as a black southern woman was interrogated by Denham and Agent Driscoll. Onstage, Sojourner Williams and Agent Driscoll commented on this documentary "evidence," discussed Kong's essay "Seems" (Seams?) in a battle of interpretation. The play exposes the perilous and powerful valences of location and perspective, exploring how they undergird racism on the one hand, and enable resistances on the other. Some of the lines I jotted down:

"Blackness requires one to see from multiple perspectives" says Williams. 

"If Eve had been a black woman, she might have made the same choices, but at least she would have seen where the snake was coming from."

"I wasn't willing to be the exceptional other." 

"Maybe I just saw others, behind the other." 

. . . Head over to XPoetics for more . . . 

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