Friday, June 06, 1997

Columbia University's Miller Theater evening of avant-guard

IN THIS VEIN, I stepped out of the digital world completely for an evening of real raw avant-guard theater at Columbia University's Miller Theater on Friday, June 6. Held in conjunction with revolutionary theater figures Anne Bogart and Tadashi Suzuki co-artistic directors of the Saratoga International Theater Institute (SITI), the evening's performance "Small Lives/Big Dreams" was derived from the five major plays of Anton Chekhov. The directors asked: "Is it true that if we are unable to remember our past, we have no future? If we lose our memory, will we lose our humanity?"

I find these questions pertinent as we approach the end of the millennium in this digital metropolis at hyper-speed (translation: getting to 2000 quickly in NYC). Companies are being bought, sold, opened, closed; e-mail lists and organizations are struggling with the move forward and the incredible change; seminars, conferences, pow-wows are every week dissecting, grilling, devouring, and digesting all the pomegranate facets of this industry. We must, and will move forward, and yet to forget our rich histories of where we came from personally and professionally is a mistake. As the character representing the Cherry Orchard so aptly put it, "There must be new forms . . . And if there are none, there must be none at all."

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)