"They are all part of an emerging downtown trend, as cabaret acts superimpose a risqué German style onto the performance art and theater scene below 14th Street. 'The Weimar aesthetic has taken over,' said Justin Bond..." (read more here)Just before Commedia dell'Artemisia opened in 2005, the Great One Man Commedia Epic opened a few doors down and Commedia/Clown was suddenly everywhere.
Just before Stage Kiss opened, Measure for Pleasure, a pseudo-Elizabethan gender-bender opened at the Public, and everyone from "off-off" to "on" was dabbling in the Ridiculous aesthetic.
Just before Kill Me Like You Mean It opened, there were about half a dozen plays trafficking in noir themes and styles, and "film noir" had become practically synonymous with "parody."
Despite the best of our iconoclastic intentions, Stolen Chair always seems to get swirled up in the same zeitgeist that's sucked in everyone else. What does this mean? Well, I'd love to think that we here at Stolen Chair have our finger on the pulse on what's hip and happening in NYC theatre and that someday we'll find a way to be the first one out of the gate, setting trends instead of following them...More likely, however, is that in the midst of our obsession with our own current idee fixe, we see resonances of it everywhere we look. For me, this used to be a paranoid endeavor, constantly looking over my shoulder to protect our precious (intellectual) property. Once I started the blog last November, however, I realized that a much better way to process this energy was to launch an interview series with the people who have beat us to the punch, often with much higher-profile productions, allowing Stolen Chair to be in dialogue with their work instead of in (imagined) competition with it.
So, here's to Weimar taking over downtown! If you're an artist associated at all with one of these Weimar-inspired events or if you're dabbling with Weimar as a period and/or style in your work, please contact me and we'll set-up an interview...