Why Theater Sucks
Lake Elsinore News #70
"Why Theater Sucks"
by Eric D. Snider
Published in The Lake Elsinore News on January 15, 1992
As a drama student, I have been exposed to quite a bit of drama, which I guess I might have expected. From my experience, I have determined that all drama falls under one of four categories:
- Plays That No One Understands Because They Are Really Weird: These are plays where, when you see them, you just KNOW that the playwright was goofed on skunkweed when he wrote it.
- Plays That No One Understands Because They Are Written by Shakespeare: These are plays where, when you see them, you just KNOW that Shakespeare had to be kind of flitty to write plays that feature numerous large-calved males leaping about in tights and saying words like "doth."
- Plays That High School Drama Students Like to Do Scenes from Because They Have Lots of Dirty Words in Them: Neil Simon is the major author in this category, although much of Shakespeare can be made to sound dirty, too, because no one will know if you're doing it right or not.
- Plays That Are Boring: We are mainly talking here about plays that were written by Arthur Miller ("The Crucible," "Death of an Amway Salesman") and Greek tragedians (Euripedes, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Spectacles, etc.). You can always understand what's going on in these plays; the problem is that you don't CARE.
From what I can determine, any fool can write a play to fit into category #1. As a matter of fact, I think being a fool would probably help. All you have to do is obtain some illegal substances, which is fairly easy to do around here (not that I would know).
Category #2 is a bit harder to write, because you have to be Shakespeare, and not many people are, or even want to be.
Category #3 is fairly easy to write because it is very easy to sprinkle a few dirty words here and there to liven things up. The play itself can be really stupid -- it could even be a member of another category. All you have to do is add a few expletives. Shakespeare should have tried this:
Shakespeare's version: "Romeo, O Romeo! Wherefore art thou, Romeo?"
New, filthy version: "Romeo, O Romeo! Where-the-****-fore art thou, Romeo, you *******?!?"
Category #4 is even easier to write because you don't have to worry about making the characters or the plot interesting. Also, you can make the play as long as you want. That will just add to the overall boredom. For example, my friend Aaron (you remember Aaron) and I went to see "The Crucible" at the Palomar University and Enormous Parking Facility. My extremely bearded drama teacher, Craig "Duke" Duke, insisted that this was a good play, but Aaron and I now know that Duke is a big stinking liar. Not only was the play long -- I'm guessing, in retrospect, about fourteen days -- but it was not very exciting. I mean, most of it was a bunch of people standing around and talking about witches and stuff. You'd think that a play about the Salem witch trials would be good -- lots of demons and devils and torture devices and what-not -- but it was just BORING. And don't even get me started about Greek playwrights, because I'm out of space.
Copyright © Eric D. Snider.
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