The Thaumaturgy Department

(It's dramaturgy, not thaumaturgy.)

Gavin
CENTERSTAGE
Baltimore
Maryland
USA

thaumaturg
Main Entry: thau·ma·turg
Pronunciation: \ˈthȯ-mə-ˌtərj\
Function: noun
Etymology: French, from New Latin thaumaturgus, from Greek thaumatourgos working miracles, from thaumat-, thauma miracle + ergon work — more at Theater, Work

2013-2014 Season:
Animal Crackers
Dance of the Holy Ghosts
A Civil War Christmas
Stones in His Pockets
Twelfth Night
Vanya Sonya Masha and Spike
Wild with Happy
Play Labs

The official blog of the Dramaturgy Department at Baltimore's CENTERSTAGE. For posts related to our current and upcoming shows, click the links to the right. Alternatively, you could begin at the beginning, and explore our posts in chronological order.

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newyorker:

                          

"If a poet determines that a poem should begin at point A and conclude at point D, say, the mystery of how to get there—how to pass felicitously through points B and C—strikes me as an artistic task both genuine and enlivening. There are fertile mysteries of transition, no less than of termination."

Brad Leithauser on reading poems backward: http://nyr.kr/12jRWsX

Photograph of Robert Frost by Marvin Koner/Corbis.

Applicable to theater?



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gyres of gestation, ripples of relation, echoes of effect. fascinating - but my my that is a lot of dudes to fairly few broads…. really. guys?

gyres of gestation, ripples of relation, echoes of effect. fascinating - but my my that is a lot of dudes to fairly few broads…. really. guys?

(Source: vodkariver, via fledglingflaneuse)



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A batty bit of “POE”etry for a spooky holiday

From haunt of man, from day’s obtrusive glare,
Thou shroud’st thee in the ruin’s ivied tower,
Or in some shadowy glen’s romantic bower,
Where wizard forms their mystic charms prepare,
Where horror lurks, and ever-boding care!
But, at the sweet and silent evening hour,
When closed in sleep is every languid flower,
Thou lov’st to sport upon the twilight air,
Mocking the eye, that would thy course pursue,
In many a wanton-round, elastic, gay,
Thou flitt’st athwart the pensive wanderer’s way,
As his lone footsteps print the mountain-dew.
From Indian isles thou com’st, with summer’s car,
Twilight thy love—thy guide her beaming star!
“To the Bat” by Ann Radcliffe (1764-1823)

in honor of current production of #CSPoe



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“Poe’s verses illustrate an intense faculty for technical and abstract beauty, with the rhyming art to excess, an incorrigible propensity toward nocturnal themes, a demoniac undertone behind every page—and, by final judgment, probably belong among the electric lights of imaginative literature, brilliant and dazzling, but with no heat.”

“Poe’s verses illustrate an intense faculty for technical and abstract beauty, with the rhyming art to excess, an incorrigible propensity toward nocturnal themes, a demoniac undertone behind every page—and, by final judgment, probably belong among the electric lights of imaginative literature, brilliant and dazzling, but with no heat.”



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‘For a long while, and until lately, I had a distaste for Poe’s writings. I wanted, and still want for poetry, the clear sun shining, and fresh air blowing—the strength and power of health, not of delirium, even amid the stormiest passions—with always the background of the eternal moralities. Non-complying with these requirements, Poe’s genius has yet conquer’d a special recognition for itself, and I too have come to fully admit it, and appreciate it and him.

“‘In a dream I once had, I saw a vessel on the sea, at midnight, in a storm. It was no great full-rigg’d ship, nor majestic steamer, steering firmly through the gale, but seem’d one of those superb little schooner yachts I had often seen lying anchor’d, rocking so jauntily, in the waters around New York, or up Long Island sound—now flying uncontroll’d with torn sails and broken spars through the wild sleet and winds and waves of the night. On the deck was a slender, slight, beautiful figure, a dim man, apparently enjoying all the terror, the murk, and the dislocation of which he was the centre and the victim. That figure of my lurid dream might stand for Edgar Poe, his spirit, his fortunes, and his poems—themselves all lurid dreams.’”
Walt Whitman on Edgar Allan Poe


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paperispatient:

“Then you must tell ‘em dat love ain’t somethin’ lak ah grindstone dat’s de same thing everywhere and dod de same thing tuh everything it touch. Love is lak the de sea. It’s movin’ thing, but still and all, it takes its shape from de shore it meets, and it’s different with every shore.”
This quotation should be enough to convince anyone to read this beautiful book. 
Janie turns into a strong, self-assured woman through the course of the book’s extended flashback (who’s got two thumbs and is a fan of frame tale/flashbacks? this gal), but what she undergoes to get to that point is, to put it mildly, a hell of a lot. She has three husbands, only one of whom she ends up really loving, and that is the marriage that ends tragically. I won’t say what happens, what had to happen. You can read it and feel the weight of it yourself.
Zora Neale Hurston is an interesting case. Her work had become neglected after her death, only to be resurrected years later during Second Wave Feminism. It’s not hard to see why. Janie performs many roles through the course of the book, most of them related to stereotypical ideas of femininity and a woman’s place. Her first husband seems to be interested in Janie as a helping (farm)hand and someone to cook his meals. Her second husband values Janie as a trophy wife, someone to help him maintain dignity and appearances. As mayor of a new town, he has the freedom to wander while she remains stuck in his general store, doing work she detests. Her third husband is younger than her, but he doesn’t care. He loves Janie, wants what’s best for her, discusses things with her, works alongside her in the bean fields. That vision of equality cannot go unnoticed. 
Because it’s told in a flashback, the book takes on a hint of a dreamy quality, at least to me. Maybe I kept the flashback too much in mind. But Hurston knows how to describe an oncoming hurricane without a hint of dreaminess. It’s foreboding; you can feel the tension in the air, the hiss-crackle of it.  
But to return to the opening quotation. Janie says these words in eloquent defense of her third marriage, as a buffer to the townfolks that judge her for marrying her third husband. They find it unnatural that she and a younger man would marry, would even love one another. Hurston isn’t making a case for cougarism (but if she is, it’s a pretty one), only for tolerance and a relaxing of societal expectations, a call for openmindedness and for knowing the facts before passing judgment. 

paperispatient:

“Then you must tell ‘em dat love ain’t somethin’ lak ah grindstone dat’s de same thing everywhere and dod de same thing tuh everything it touch. Love is lak the de sea. It’s movin’ thing, but still and all, it takes its shape from de shore it meets, and it’s different with every shore.”

This quotation should be enough to convince anyone to read this beautiful book. 

Janie turns into a strong, self-assured woman through the course of the book’s extended flashback (who’s got two thumbs and is a fan of frame tale/flashbacks? this gal), but what she undergoes to get to that point is, to put it mildly, a hell of a lot. She has three husbands, only one of whom she ends up really loving, and that is the marriage that ends tragically. I won’t say what happens, what had to happen. You can read it and feel the weight of it yourself.

Zora Neale Hurston is an interesting case. Her work had become neglected after her death, only to be resurrected years later during Second Wave Feminism. It’s not hard to see why. Janie performs many roles through the course of the book, most of them related to stereotypical ideas of femininity and a woman’s place. Her first husband seems to be interested in Janie as a helping (farm)hand and someone to cook his meals. Her second husband values Janie as a trophy wife, someone to help him maintain dignity and appearances. As mayor of a new town, he has the freedom to wander while she remains stuck in his general store, doing work she detests. Her third husband is younger than her, but he doesn’t care. He loves Janie, wants what’s best for her, discusses things with her, works alongside her in the bean fields. That vision of equality cannot go unnoticed. 

Because it’s told in a flashback, the book takes on a hint of a dreamy quality, at least to me. Maybe I kept the flashback too much in mind. But Hurston knows how to describe an oncoming hurricane without a hint of dreaminess. It’s foreboding; you can feel the tension in the air, the hiss-crackle of it.  

But to return to the opening quotation. Janie says these words in eloquent defense of her third marriage, as a buffer to the townfolks that judge her for marrying her third husband. They find it unnatural that she and a younger man would marry, would even love one another. Hurston isn’t making a case for cougarism (but if she is, it’s a pretty one), only for tolerance and a relaxing of societal expectations, a call for openmindedness and for knowing the facts before passing judgment. 



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Remembering Edgar Allan Poe on his Death-Day
In Baltimore lives the legacy of one of the United States’ most famous writers—Edgar Allan Poe. In his lifetime, Poe never received the sort of attention that he deserved. But despite harsh critiques from famous writers such as T.S. Eliot (who happened to despise Poe but love Baudelaire despite the fact that Baudelaire was influenced by Poe), his name and his work continue to live on. Today, October 7th, Poe’s fans and followers will commemorate his death and his life. (via Remembering Edgar Allan Poe on his Death-Day | Writer vs the World)
Cast of #CSPoe headed over to take part. Join the commemorations, and then come see the production of …POE @CENTERSTAGE_MD!

Remembering Edgar Allan Poe on his Death-Day

In Baltimore lives the legacy of one of the United States’ most famous writers—Edgar Allan Poe. In his lifetime, Poe never received the sort of attention that he deserved. But despite harsh critiques from famous writers such as T.S. Eliot (who happened to despise Poe but love Baudelaire despite the fact that Baudelaire was influenced by Poe), his name and his work continue to live on. Today, October 7th, Poe’s fans and followers will commemorate his death and his life. (via Remembering Edgar Allan Poe on his Death-Day | Writer vs the World)

Cast of #CSPoe headed over to take part. Join the commemorations, and then come see the production of …POE @CENTERSTAGE_MD!



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"Poe Pourri" (part 1 of 3) — Beetlejuice takes on a certain prophetic and portentous fowl. And a darkly mordant poet, mourning his lost Lenore. You get the picture.



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Classic Edgar Allan Poe “cigarette card.” Really?

Classic Edgar Allan Poe “cigarette card.” Really?



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