What are our thoughts on...
You might know Aly & AJ best as an old school Disney duo with some catchy bops. Since then, they have explored many artistic avenues in film, TV, and music, including a stint in which they even changed the band name. Last year, they released an EP called Ten Years and this year have just released a second EP called Sanctuary. Which brings me to this question/corresponding rant... What the hell is going on with the negative reactions to Aly and AJ's artwork Sanctuary?
"You don't need to sell your body"
"You don't have to show your body like that"
"[You] do not need to get naked to sell your music"
Have y'all ever seen art? Since ancient times, nudity and the elegance of form has had a place in art. The conflation of nudity with sex is entirely on you. Weirdly, most of the objectors I noticed were female, perpetuating a bizarre form of slut shaming in an artistic medium.
Also, if this is because you first saw these artists as teens, then that's a whole new problematic conversation about how society confines female artists to a certain age and likes pseudo parenting them (see treatment of Taylor Swift since forever).
This motif is not a one time thing for A&A either. Both "Ten Years" and now "Sanctuary" have exhibited evolving images of sensuality and maturity (through nudity and those amazing suits) paired with the new synth pop and vocoder sound.
Have you considered that you're playing into a key thematic idea from "Church," the new single? Society is condemning their nudity as a sin, and this video plays with contrasting red and blues, "bad things for the sake of good times," the light and dark of the sisters' hair...
In short, if you automatically sexualize the human body then proceed to be sex-negative, take your regressive attitudes right out of here... but know that with "Sanctuary," you're missing out on some fun pop music with some unusual keys and positive messages.
Dearest friends and followers,
I apologize for the radio silence from us. We've been busy doing a lot of solo ventures (Libby on shows, Andrew in Scotland, me working on my MFA), and I promise we'll get back to the good stuff soon. Right now, we're in talks about the future of the company and how to bring more quality content to your neighborhood. If you have money to burn, feel free to throw it at us. If you have time to spare, please contact us about opportunities. We're very excited to see what the future holds, but Libby forgot the crystal ball, so we'll just have to wait and see.
We took the fall of 2016 to gear up for a sloppy second season done right. In 2017, we have done all of the following:
And we are going to:
So stay tuned, and join us live and online!
This week, I decided to create a new short play based on contributions from you, the internet. I took to Twitter, Instagram, Whisper, Tinder, YikYak, Listen, and more in search of great sentences that would eventually become this story. The first eleven were chosen, regardless of platform. Below is the result, which I am pleased has gotten so much feedback and viewing so quickly:
A PIE CALLED MARY
The trick is to figure out what came from others, and what is my own nonsense. Enjoy the reading and stay tuned for a possible second round!
Now that Othello Goes South has wrapped up, it's probably safe to say we won't have another live production in our first year (which started in September with Hotel). Probably. But who knows, maybe we'll come up with something that you all just absolutely have to see!
At any rate, it's time to look at year one in review. We had a season about racial issues and touched on sexuality. We started producing two radio plays (an episode came out today, so go listen). We built this site and all our social media. We got a few donors under our belts. And we're already in the process of creating more new things.
But mostly importantly, we have people supporting us, listening to us, craving us, confused by us, angry at us, intrigued by us... And that's you! You reading this. You're as much a part of this as anyone. So when we're reviewing our first year, I think it's only fit to say: thanks.
Spring cleaning is happening both literally and metaphorically. Literally, I've been going through clothes and weird costumes that might be useful to the Theatere. If you put together some of the pieces I have, you could be a drunk Jewish man in the Navy.
We've also been getting things together in terms of programming. We've adjusted our lineup for the season (go check it out) and added new projects. Andrew's Othello Goes South happens next month, as do the first episodes of our radio plays. The Sexy Theater Calendar is also off to a great start and will be released in early summer.
And personally, all of us are doing a sort of spring cleaning. Andrew is moving, I'm sorting my life out, and all of the students we work with are preparing to move out of dorms for the summer. It's a busy time of year, but that makes it even more important to take some R&R time. So go read a book, take a sick day, paint a picture, and come see/hear some of our work! I promise life will still be waiting for you when you come back.
I apologize first for typing in all caps, as for some reason, the blog will type nothing else...
Sometimes, your play is going to suck. Plain and simple. You spend a year on it, plus research time, plus editing time, and it just isn't what you want. Sometimes that play is your thesis project and somehow gets you honors. But the best part about writing for theatre is that you're never truly finished. Until that SOB is published, it's a work in progress. And, honestly, it's not whole until it's onstage where the audience provides the final piece.
My biggest problem with going back to a play is not wanting to remove anything. I fell in love with that scene or this character... so why get rid of them? Because it's not working. You set out with a story to tell, and if it's not telling that story, it needs to go. That's rule number one. Rule number two of writing is be prepared to take eating/TV/drinking/smoking breaks while you recuperate from editing out material as rule number one demands.
With that in mind, I'm revisiting Somewhere In Between and removing a lot of characters, scenes, and plot points that didn't work. But it'll get longer and weirder and -- hopefully -- better. So if you've got something that's been sitting on the back burner, why not take another look at it? Find the story you want to tell, find the scene you can't tell it without, and start again.