Main Entry: thau·ma·turg
Etymology: French, from New Latin thaumaturgus, from Greek thaumatourgos working miracles, from thaumat-, thauma miracle + ergon work — more at Theater, Work
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.
It’s eerie. Sitting in my apartment on Calvert Street in Baltimore, I am rereading a play that I directed 10 years ago, laughing at it again, saddened by it anew, finding new nuance or perhaps the same inflections which are subjected to “halzfheimers,” as CENTERSTAGE’s Associate Artistic Director Gavin Witt calls it.
Si Osborn is back with me to remember that which I don’t, and three new folks are there to remind me that it is a fresh discovery to them and that they have new slants to offer that will awaken the play in ways I have not imagined. Jordan Brown, Richard Thieriot, and Barbara Kinglsey now will dig out the truth of Martin McDonagh’s dark comedy. It’s every bit as funny as I remembered it, and now, 10 years later, deeper for the aging perspective I bring to it.
I’ve done several plays more than once in my life. Twelfth Night, Much Ado, Rounding Third, Better Late, and each and every one revealed itself in different ways as new actors slipped into the skin of the characters.
More interesting though is the impact that the Baltimore audience will have on our production. In theatres across the country productions are presented, same text, and same actors, and a play can vary widely in reception and resonance. Baltimore audiences will shape and inform what the play means for them. Any given night different audiences take what they will from the performance and in collaboration with the cast shades of meaning and feeling will emerge for both. This is the particular boon to live theatre, and the thrill for a cast, a director or a playwright.
Mick Dowd is a walking ghost of himself, living with the spirit of his dead wife Oona day and night. Visitors drop by to drink his Poteen, share the news of the tiny town they live in, gossip and petty resentments abound. You know what Irish Alzheimer’s is don’t you? We forget everything but a grudge. And Mick Dowd is the victim of the village’s vicious wagging tongues. To be under the scrutiny of these petty people, would crush anyone’s spirit, not to mention darkening their lives.
And it’s funny! Really funny, and it’s that humor that keeps McDonagh’s plays alive and thriving. I think this is the first McDonagh to visit CENTERSTAGE, and I am honored to share it with you.
-BJ Jones (Artistic Director, Northlight Theater)