The art beats…

One writes out of one thing only — one’s own experience. Everything depends on how relentlessly one forces from his experience the last drop, sweet or bitter, it can possibly give. This is the only real concern of the artist, to recreate out of the disorder of life that order which is art.

James Baldwin

10 days ago I was leaving Pittsburgh, a little town in the state of Pennsylvania in the United States of America. I had been there for six weeks trying to soak in whatever came my way. Through my stay there I was determined not to allow that nagging voice telling me to “do something”, affect me too much.

So, I did only those things that I felt really mattered – and one of which was attending the performance of ‘Big George‘ by  Kelli Stevens Kane, directed by Mark David Staley.

Big George. Photograph by Renee Rosensteel.

The performance happened at New Hazlett (pronounced ‘haze-let’) Theatre, a compact performance space located at Allegheny Square.

New Hazlett Theatre

Those of you who know me – may be a bit surprised by the fact that I am writing about a performance. Well, let me tell you I do this because of the many similarities that exists between Kelli’s work and my own attempts to make theatre.

The parallels were too many to have left this experience unmentioned. To name a few – the performance was minimal, a hybrid of spoken word poetry, movement,  personal narratives…and, the clincher, a grandmother.

When Fugard said, “the personal is political”, maybe this is what he meant.

The performance was unlike the many that visit us from abroad. there was not desire to impress, just an invitation to be affected.


Photograph by Renee Rosensteel

Photograph by Renee Rosensteel

Photograph by Renee Rosensteel

Photograph by Renee Rosensteel

Photograph by Renee Rosensteel


About victoranish

A theatre worker living in Bangalore.
This entry was posted in Notes from here and there... and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The art beats…

  1. Thank you for your wonderful critique of the piece. It was a pleasure to work with Kelli and the rest of the creative team on this show. I did the lighting by the way.

  2. Andy–it was a pleasure to work with you too! We had a great creative team on this project. Let me also name our wonderful scenic designer Stephanie Mayer-Staley! Anish–thank you so much! I’m so happy that you felt a connection to the show. It would be wonderful to see your work one day!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s