“We cannot read or hear if we are bored and hostile and confused.”
– Mary Caroline Richards
“Theatre is meant to be transformative, therefore if we are not changed by it we have been deceived, tricked, cheated. Forgive me if I am less interested in pleasing than in affecting you – through seduction, fright, surprise, it matters not. I want your ‘money’s worth’ to last a while.”
– Alva Hascall, director’s program note for “Tiger”
Well, Hascall’s production of Lisa Westkaemper’s Tiger succeeded in affecting me through discomfort and boredom, which resulted in the aforementioned hostility, and it transformed me by giving me a new definition of “the worst piece of theatre I have ever seen.” I officially apologize to every playwright, director and producer whose productions I have disparaged in the past. I knew not of what I spoke. I never knew what really, truly AWFUL meant until last night.
Tiger is the kind of angst-ridden “serious theatre” I was writing when I was about 20 years old and too young to know that the reason it appeared that this kind of thing “had never been done before in the theatre” was because it had and it didn’t work and everyone hated it. Dr. Westkaemper is ever so much more than 20 and I am embarrassed for her.