Read Streamers. Didn’t like it too much for the same reason I didn’t like Odets: the characters are synthesized, painted, false, bizarre puppets. In Streamers a morality comes up and bops you one in the face. About queers: “I mean, some of ’em are okay guys, just way up this bad alley and you say to ’em, ‘I’m straight, be cool,’ they go their own way. But then there’s these other ones, these bitches, man, and they’re so crazy they think anyone can be had. Because they been had themselves.” You got it, straight from the mouth of 1970: queers, niggers, and all that good bullshit are in this play. Joe Normal, seeing this play, will assimilate it as some sort of deeper “reality” which he’s been missing by working at his insurance sales job. Joe Normal will see this scramble of swinging dicks onstage and think that this is life, this is the emotional grind that I missed when I went to college. Rabe does not play to the masses because his work does not speak to them. Streamers is a hodgepodge of larger-than-life army dipshits who we’re supposed to care about.
It’s a fascinating thing, watching people learn from you. The Immediate Gratification Players as a whole has moved me and changed me more than any organization on campus at Harvard. I’ve rolled up my sleeves and took care of them and it’s been a holy terror, especially with the Wham Bam Thank You Ma’am show, but it’s been just so rewarding to watch my players apply what I’ve taught them and have a good time doing it. I love them all so much. Sorry, Dramatic Arts 1, what I’ve learned from IGP and these amazingly open people tops the intelligent ramblings of Wheeler. There comes a point where you just have to tell the truth. IGP is that truth for me. I see improvisatory acting as a holy form of theater, in the Empty Space definition of the term; it seeks to move us by introducing our souls onto stage. We offer to psychoanalyze ourselves for your pleasure, and in doing so you, the audience, will find a distorted mirror image of yourself. It is a clean, fair, new art.
I read some of Creating Theater. I don’t think it was mandatory for us–the book, I mean. Everybody has their own opinions, directors especially. There are varying schools of theater but I think that the common denominator is that you have to be a little bit nuts about the art form. Why the hell do we want to get up and be someone else in front of other people for a little while? I can understand the wish fulfillment part, but why do we need the audience? Is it communication or introspection? What?