Binary and theatrical narration

performance_production_theory

Performance
You have read the books. Taken the classes. Scratched the lottery tickets. Soaked your feed. Checked your watch. Tied your shoes. Broken down the boxes. Painted the walls. Changed into something with higher contrast. Photographed the room. Recorded the important bits in your notebook. And committed the rest to memory. The only thing left to do is get up there and show your mother how it feels.

Production
What is the smallest measurable unit of production a theatre company can manufacture? And how much would a ticket cost?

Theory
Every element of every story can be complemented with a binary: The story is told, or it is not told; The central character is good, or she is evil; She is morally ambiguous, or she is morally certain; The setting is clear, or the setting is unclear; She has super powers, or she does not; She is alive, or she is dead; It is winter, or it is summer; The events are true, or they are false; The story has begun, or it is finished; Etc. There may even be multiple opposites for a given element. For example: the room is bright, or the room is not bright – or the room is dark. Since there are limitless binaries, stories that place emphasis on those kinds of relationships tend to do so by highlighting just a small number of the possible opposites. This limitation is necessary because a story told exclusively through binary contrast would be an infinite and unintelligible ping-pong game. Such as Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menance.

Performance. Production. Theory.

straws

Thought I’d warm up the new blog with some off-the-top-of-my-head thoughts:

Performance
A nice new pair of shoes can transform how a person performs their class identity – especially if they feel that they somehow straddle the line between two classes.

Production
The production apparatus – whether it’s related to theatre, publishing, or manufacturing – is as much the end product as the end product itself. In other words, a shoe factory is one of the primary products of a shoe factory.

Theory
I tend to prefer reading film theory over theatre theory because I think the mainstream film theorists have done a better job of building a pseudo-scientific framework around their ideas. So maybe film theory is more inclined to offer quick and easy prescriptive solutions to problems such as narrative. Theatre theory, though much older, tends to seem a bit on the loosey-goosey side, which probably means that it’s actually more evolved than film theory.