Mid Month Musing – July Edition

“I long for the simplicity of theatre. I want lessons learned, comeuppances delivered, people sorted out, all before your bladder gets distractingly full. That’s what I want. What I know is what we all know, whether we’ll admit it or not: every attempt to impose the roundness of a well-made play on reality produces a disaster. Life just isn’t so, nor will it be made so.” – John M. Ford

For the first time, I am directing a play. Yes, that’s right, a whole play. I’m wildly excited about it. I’m directing Jean Paul Sartre’s No Exit, which I fall more in love with every time I read or watch it. Because it is generally classified as Theatre of the Absurd, I felt like this quote fit in well with some of the thoughts that have been swirling around in my head regarding this play.

I love Ford’s line about having the play end before he has to go to the bathroom. Sartre made No Exit an hour and a half to comply with Nazi curfews, and yet to a modern audience the upside of the length is more along the lines of Ford’s thoughts on the matter.

But I think one of the main points that Ford makes and that I think is especially true of No Exit is that well-made plays aren’t real life. While absurdist plays might represent a heightened state of real life, or even an imagined one, I think that these plays are closer to what people actually think and feel than others that we see on stage. I feel like the characters of No Exit are some of the most real people I have ever seen on stage, and that’s what makes the play so captivating. Part of the beauty of theatre is that we see humanity on display, we hold a mirror up to ourselves as individuals, a community, or society as a whole, and we learn something about ourselves. We find a little piece of ourselves, for better or for worse, in those characters on stage. And when they learn their lesson, so do we.

I’ve Said Things (A Fight) by Janine Marley

So happy to once again be featured on my dear friend Priscilla’s blog! I really enjoyed writing this piece 🙂


I’ve said things
Things no human being should ever say
Things no one should even think
Things that would make my grandmother (even my mother) blush.
And I know he feels them
Every thought
Every word
Every spiteful bit of myself that gets flung at him.
Right now, I don’t even care
My feelings are mine
My feelings are my truth
My feelings should matter to someone shouldn’t they?
And forgiveness is a foreign concept
I can’t right now
I won’t tomorrow
But maybe I’ll have to some day
Not for him
For me.
(Photograph by Priscilla)

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