Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Six A.M.!

What Might Pengo See at the Fringe While He's In New York?

THE BACCHAE
By Euripides
Directed by Joanne Akalaitis
Original Music by Philip Glass
Translated by Nicholas Rudall
The Public Theatre in Central Park

The Bowery Boys: Shakespeare in the Park
What started in a tiny East Village basement grew to become one of New York's most enduring summer traditions, Shakespeare in the Park, featuring world class actors performing the greatest dramas of the age. But another drama was brewing just as things were getting started. It's Robert Moses vs. Shakespeare! Joseph Papp vs. the city! ALSO: Learn how the Public Theater got off the ground and helped save an Astor landmark in the process ... (more)

Listening to: PODRUNNER Classic - The Rush Hour (155 BPM)

Distance: 3.25 miles
Temperature: 66ยบ
Weather: very nice
Weight: 154 lbs.

Cartoonist

I have been reading the biography of a famous cartoonist. It was a Christmas gift, year before last. I have been reading it on and off since then - it's not a boring book, far from it, but I have had so many other things I needed to read first ...

... which is unfortunate. There is a lot in this book which informs this play. Most notably - and I was shocked when I began to understand this in this book, as I had already expressed it in my play - it is the idea that you can spend your life thinking you are downtrodden and unappreciated, only to find that a) not only does everyone like you but b) thinking yourself downtrodden and unappreciated can turn you into a real dick. Not the pitiable character you want to be, but a real, arrogant buttwad.

At left: Your college-age Linus & Charlie Brown archetypes.

This evening I was reading while the kids fell asleep. It was a chapter on marketing, and all the products that came from his strip. And we had a lot of them, books, bedsheets - one they described was a playscript book that included cut-out masks of the characters. We had that. A book of short plays. Based on characters from the strip. Incredible. My life comes into focus.

Another cartoonist, Bill Watterson, lives in Cleveland. He once wrote a review of the book I am reading for The Wall Street Journal. In spite of his reclusiveness, I would like to meet him, though I am not sure what I would say. Your strip was really good. One of your main characters shares a name with one of my sons. I wear a T-shirt featuring a design stolen from you in my new show, but I wear it ironically, you know, because of the name. The name means I believe I am allowed to wear it.

Those are statements. I wish I could think of good questions.

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