The Big Lebowski as written by W. Shakespeare

You have to appreciate this for the effort, if nothing else. Adam Bertocci has re-written the entire script of The Funniest Movie Ever (as awarded by me) in the hand of the Bard. Behold:

WALTER
Be I wrong?

THE KNAVE
Yea, but verily—

WALTER
That rug, in faith, tied the room together, did it not?

THE KNAVE
By my heart, a goodly rug.

DONALD
And in most miserable tide did this rogue besmirch it.

WALTER
Prithee, Donald! Thou too eagerly hold’st the mirror up to nature.

THE KNAVE
My mind races; I might endeavour to seek this gentleman Lebowski.

DONALD
His name is Lebowski? Verily, ope thine ear; that is thy name, Knave!

THE KNAVE
On good authority; and his nobleness must oblige. His wife taketh up quarrel and borrows, and they bespoil my rug.

WALTER
Marry, sir, my heartstrings do you tug;
They urinate upon thy damnèd rug.

[Exeunt severally]

And the great Julianne Moore art scene:

THE KNAVE
Permit me to explain about the rug—

MAUDE
What cares have you, Lebowski, upon love?

THE KNAVE
Alack, lady, thy question does me vex.

MAUDE
The physicality of making love;
I’d have you tell me if you like it well.
A myth persists on women of my stripe,
That our body politic renders us in hate
Of acts of love; a most injurious lie.
The enterprise can have in it much zest.
But men who walk with satyrs in the morn
And women swimming nightly ‘twixt the nymphs
Are punished by Oberon for sin
And do the deed compulsively engaged,
Sans joy, sans love, sans everything.

THE KNAVE
Prithee nay!

Read the entire folio here.

Writing vs. Acting

This is a guest post by Raphael Kepinski, a winner of last year’s Solo Flights Emerging Playwrights Competition presented by the Solo Collective and The Playhouse Theatre Company. Raphael returns this year to perform one of the ’09 winning pieces on April 13. Details at bottom of page.

Solo Flights, The Emerging Writers Competition:  Writing vs. Acting
By Raphael Kepinski

raphael-kepinski-headshotLast year I wrote a piece for the Solo Flights Emerging Writers Competition and this year I am reading one. I have been asked to write about my experiences as a writer and as an actor for Solo Flights.

Being a writer is hard.  You have to sit still, at a computer, concentrate, have an idea, fact check, not check Facebook, not play video games, not watch TV, invent characters, think about character arc, have more ideas, type, proofread, print copies, distribute them, submit your work to the dramaturge, take feedback, accept feedback, learn to live with feedback, go back to your computer, make changes, add page numbers, proof read, print more copies, submit them, receive more feedback, live with feedback, more time at the computer, make more changes, submit, feedback, live, computer, proof, print, submit, over and over ad nauseum. It’s tedious work that wracks your brain and tries your patience.

Then the day arrives when it’s time to hand your baby over to the actor.  Now, that thing you had total 100% control over, that thing that in your mind’s eye was absolutely perfect, brilliant even, your baby, your work, your sweat, your anguish, your sleepless nights, that thing gets handed over to some mouth breathing, glossy eyed, hair gel wearing, actor. An actor who never felt your pain, never sat for hours at that computer trying to find a more poetic way of saying “underwear is worn on the inside”, never lived the things you lived while writing this perfect brilliance.  An actor.  To them what they hold in their hand is not epic, is not perfect, is not brilliant, it’s merely a script, just a script, just something to do on a Monday evening; jump up on stage, yell for emphasis, pause for effect, modulate their voice to sound interesting, make a silly face for laughs, wait for applause, eat the hors d’oeurves.  Another notch in their belt.

What’s worse; at the point of reading, the actor has all the control; a mispronounced word, emphasis given in the wrong place, a silly face when there was no call for one and your heartfelt monologue about your Grandma’s experiences in a World War II concentration camp and how she found forgiveness and happiness is quickly turned into a silly comedy with a slight pro-fascist undertone. So yeah being a writer is harder than being an actor.  And to add insult to injury, Solo Flights writers pay to submit their work, while the actors get paid to read it. Still, if your work is brilliant, it will live forever on the page to be read by hundreds maybe thousands of other actors. Meanwhile the actor is just some actor; easily forgotten, and easily replaced.

Solo Collective and the Playhouse Theatre Company present SOLO FLIGHTS, a night of monologues by some of Canada’s best new playwrights, Monday, April 13 at 7:30pm at the Playhouse Production Centre, 127 East 2nd in Vancouver.

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Tarragon Theatre unveils Under-30 Playwrighting Competition

paper_rsToronto’s Tarragon Theatre has announced a new incentive to encourage new Canadian stage work with, one imagines, a more youthful perspective: the National Under-30 Playwrighting Competition. The winning playwright will recieve $3000 and a spot in Tarragon’s annual Play Reading Week.

To be eligible your birthday must fall after April 30, 1979, and you must be a Canadian citizen. This contest is open to anyone: professional or non-professional. And the play must be in English. Deadline is Thursday, April 30 at 5:00 pm.

Click here for full details and entry form.

On the “Fascism” of Stage Directions

Fist-shaking dictator or helpful tour guide? The meaty bone of contention that is the mighty stage direction is surely one of the most-debated elements of our work. Actors loathe them, playwrights adore them, directors sorta kinda appreciate them. How do you feel about direction from the page?

In a typically erudite essay, the UK Guardian’s Chris Wilkinson discusses the potential value of the author’s indication of intent, and offers some insightful perspective as a sort of ‘instructions for use’.

Read on over at Chris’ blog, there’s some great examples of seemingly unactable stage directions, including some of the ways Sarah Kane manages to brilliantly infuriate people…