Friday, February 29, 2008

the crucial point of impatience

I’ve been reading Another World: a second anthology of work from the St Mark’s poetry project, edited by Anne Waldman. The book was published in 1971, thiry-seven years ago. What appears in it first appeared in print, of course, in the years preceding that. Many of the names are familiar to me: Tom Clark, Robert Creeley, Kenneth Koch, Peter Schjeldahl, John Ashbery, Diane Di Prima.

I don’t recall having read Lorenzo Thomas before. There’s a page of info about him at the Electronic Poetry Center. The play below, I’d probably not attend. But it’s a good script for the page.

A One-Act Play by Lorenzo Thomas:

INTOLERANCE

The audience, once seated in the theatre, will become impatient. They will “want something to happen.” When the director is of the opinion that the audience is at the crucial point of impatience, that point where the decision is made either to leave or remain, he will begin the play. An actor enters and announces that the performance will be delayed for a specific period of time. His lines are improvised, but the delay he announces must not be either too great or too minor: in the first case, audience anticipation would be destroyed; in the latter, unease and dissatisfaction would find an outlet. The actor exits and five minutes later, regardless of the delay he has announced, one thousand men enter and physically assault the audience.


#

The play has a sequel of sorts, called FRENCH REVOLUTION. It is much the same except for costuming.

3 comments:

David Lee said...

A good reason to stay away from live theatre :)

Glenn Ingersoll said...

Gonna wait for the movie version, are you?

David Lee said...

I'll wait for the DVD. Then pause it when the thugs charge out to deliver their beatings.